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Let's look at the global Wall Street CLINTON/OBAMA pols and players that brought SILICON VALLEY devastation, soaring cancer, respiratory, and auto-immune disease vectors----KNOWINGLY-----to see the same CLINTON/OBAMA pols and players doing that these several years of OBAMA.
Remember, global Wall Street is FAR-RIGHT WING EXTREME WEALTH EXTREME POVERTY MAKING THE RICH PROGRESSIVELY RICHER ANY WAY THEY CAN----
Clinton era 1990s was known as the TECH BUBBLE on Wall Street. Supposedly Clinton was great for the economy---jobs, jobs, jobs because this Silicon Valley technology infrastructure was being built. The goal was to connect global Wall Street around the world so most of the JOBS, JOBS, JOBS were overseas. If we watched this Silicon/San Fran Foreign Economic Zone development we would see exactly what we see under Obama and his GREEN TECHNOLOGY expansion moving from Silicon Valley to all US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES.
Clinton took what was a left social progressive development of US cities---with HUD---with Enterprise Zones really helping low-income communities----he took URBAN LEAGUE----NAACP----and started PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS capturing our government agencies to corporations. It is this structure that became THESE FEW DECADES OF ROBBER BARON SYSTEMIC FRAUDS AND GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION and the SHOW ME THE MONEY AND WE WILL DO ANYTHING WE ARE TOLD 5% TO THE 1%.
Here we see the early 5% to the 1% player-----VERNON JORDAN as national Urban League. Jordon took US urban development from EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND ACCESS HOUSING to selective, rich, and corporate development. This is when our US CITY URBAN LEAGUES were took to global Wall Street players. Jordon knew players living only for the day and that is who were appointed to leadership in US cities in 1990----today.
THIS WAS THE GOAL AND YET JORDAN WAS ALWAYS CALLED A CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER---WHEN HE WAS DISMANTLING ALL CIVIL RIGHTS GAINS.
Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr. (born August 15, 1935) is an American business executive and civil rights activist in the United States. A leading figure in the Civil Rights Movement, he was chosen by President Bill Clinton as a close adviser. Jordan has become known as an influential figure in American politics.
He earned a law degree at Howard University School of Law in 1960. He is a member of the Omega Psi Phi and Sigma Pi Phi fraternities.
Jordan is the only black person who has participated in more than a few Bilderberg conferences. He was invited in 1969 and 1970 and then almost every year between 1979 and 2013
Vernon Eulion Jordan, Jr. 1971 1981 attorney
John Edward Jacob 1982 1994 civil rights activist
Hugh Bernard Price 1994 2002 attorney foundation executive
Milton James Little, Jr. 2003 2003 social worker
Marc Haydel Morial 2003 Current attorney
Pittsburgh Urban League
12/8/17 PITTSBURGH, PA
RON BROWN AWARDS GALA
Ranked in three successive performance reviews as one of the nation’s highest performing affiliates, the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh was founded in 1918 with the shared National Urban League mission of enabling African-Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity and power, and civil rights.
The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh focuses on serving African-Americans and other minorities, but no one is ever turned away, helping more than 20,000 individuals in Pittsburgh and the surrounding counties last year alone. As the largest comprehensive social service/civil rights organization in Southwestern Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Urban League helps others to help themselves through extra-curricular educational opportunities, health advocacy, housing counseling, parental education and support for early childhood and youth development, hunger prevention services, sustainable wage career preparation, and other programs that lead to improved ability to achieve economic empowerment and self-reliance. Ninety-nine years of service to the African American community in our region has earned the Urban League the community’s trust. The Urban League’s voice has gained a reputation for untarnished credibility which we strive to use strategically in order to reduce structural barriers and improve access to opportunities for those we serve.
Clinton and Jordan were back in the 1990s those pesky 5% to the 1%------today both Clinton/Jordan have worked their way to being in that global 2% FOR NOW. Between these few decades they killed 99% of white, black , and brown citizens to do so. We see that tie to GREEKS, OLD WORLD MERCHANTS OF VENICE, and leadership positions in organizations PRETENDING TO BE LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE.
Make no mistake----it was Clinton era Silicon Valley policies pushed to include community development that created these INJUSTICES TO COMMUNITIES OF COLOR. If we ask a white Texan citizen living in TEXARKANA PANHANDLE ---they are indeed victims too----so rural white communities were taken as well.
High-Tech Environmental Racism: Silicon Valley's Toxic Workplaces
David Naguib Pellow and Lisa Sun-Hee Park
Research on environmental racism and environmental inequalities has yet to take seriously the question of
workplace toxics and their impact on people of color, immigrants, and women. This paper is a step in that
direction. We argued that the workplace should play a prominent role in research on environmental inequalities
because the workplace is where 1) toxics are first produced and first come into contact with human beings, and
2) it is also where people begin the resistance process against environmental injustice. We support this
argument by drawing on data from the high-technology sector of Silicon Valley.
High-Tech Environmental Racism
Research on environmental racism and environmental inequalities has yet to take seriously the question of
workplace toxics and their impact on people of color, immigrants, and women. This paper is a step in that
direction. We argue that the workplace should play a prominent role in research on environmental inequalities
because it is where 1) people are first exposed to environmental contamination, and 2) it is also where people
begin the resistance process against environmental injustice. We illustrate this argument by drawing on data
from the high-technology sector of Silicon Valley.
Research on Environmental Racism
Environmental racism is a scourge that has burdened people of color around the globe for centuries. However,
scholars have only recently begun to focus attention on this problem and attempt to define it. One sociologist
defines environmental racism as "the unequal protection against toxic and hazardous waste exposure and the
systematic exclusion of people of color from decisions affecting their communities"2 Environmental racism is
an example of an environmental injustice or environmental inequality, which occurs when a particular social
group is burdened with environmental hazards.
Here is an article from 2001-----this was end of Clinton beginning of Bush era and as we have known these few decades------all of this technology boom killed workers---killed communities-----and it was what brought CLIMATE CHANGE.
The left social progressives were back in 1990s shouting against CLINTON AND THE URBAN LEAGUE for backing all these public policy stances in development because this was when DEREGULATION AND DISMANTLING OF OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY GREW. Where California WAS #1 in world in environmental issues now CLINTON/JORDAN took US to worst in world history.
This is when our 80% of labor and justice Democratic voters should have fought and protested to get CLINTON/JORDAN out of the people's Democratic Party. Instead, the 99% kept believing in JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, AFFORDABLE HOUSING AFFORDABLE HOUSING not knowing that CLINTON/JORDAN were OLD WORLD MERCHANTS OF VENICE working for the global 1%.
THIS IS THE EXACT PICTURE HAPPENING TODAY IN OUR US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES-----AGAIN, IT IS THAT 5% TO THE 1% BLACK, BROWN, AND WHITE POLS AND PLAYERS DOING ALL THE DAMAGE. HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE. LET'S JUST DO IT!
“Most of our [health] regulations are predicated on workers being exposed to one chemical, maybe two or three — but what do you do when they’re exposed to a hundred?” LaDou asks. “What we have here is a brand-new work setting with an almost scientifically impossible question to answer — how do you determine if a recirculated mix of chemicals is safe? — and there is no magic formula.”
Monday, Jul 30, 2001 08:32 PM EST Poison Valley
Is workers' health the price we pay for high-tech progress? First of two parts. Jim Fisher
Topics: Cancer, Environment, Silicon Valley, Entertainment News
At the south end of Silicon Valley in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, beside a creek thick with buckeye and sycamore, lie the ruins of California’s first and richest mine. For over a century the red ore known as cinnabar, first roasted for its metal in 1845, was burned in furnaces at New Almaden Mine and reduced through a series of condensation chambers into approximately 100 million pounds of liquid mercury, used to extract silver in Nevada’s Comstock mines and gold in the mother lode.
The mine is also the single greatest source of mercury pollution in the San Francisco Bay Area. After the mining companies sweated the quicksilver from the rock, they dumped an estimated 800,000 cubic yards of burnt cinnabar into nearby Alamitos Creek: To this day, drops of liquid mercury and cinnabar slag are readily found in samples collected anywhere between New Almaden Mine and the city of San Jose. If you follow that creek into Silicon Valley you’ll pass signs showing a fish on a poker, and the warning:
FISH IN THESE WATERS ARE CONTAMINATED WITH DANGEROUS LEVELS OF POISONOUS MERCURY. DO NOT EAT FISH CAUGHT IN THESE WATERS.
The creek flows down through the serpentine foothills, through blue oak and California laurel, until it passes under McKean Road at the valley floor. A couple of hundred yards northeast on McKean takes you past a walnut orchard and across Calero Creek, also flowing down from the New Almaden hills and contaminated with mercury, until you hit the foot of the Santa Teresa Hills and the checkpoint for IBM’s Almaden Research Center. IBM ARC, the first computer research lab west of the Mississippi, is the birthplace of a host of technological innovations as valuable as mother lode gold, and, according to a wave of recent lawsuits, as toxic as New Almaden Mine mercury.
If you make a U-turn at the check gate to IBM ARC and follow the run of Calero Creek as it flows along Camden Avenue, the pepper trees and flowering plums thin and shift from the creek bed to the center divide. After approximately five miles you reach the stoplight at Blossom Hill Road. To your right is the parking lot for the Santa Clara Valley Water District, and behind it are the Alamitos Groundwater Recharge Ponds, where the joined creeks of the eastern New Almaden hills (Alamitos and Calero) meet the Guadalupe River, flowing in from the west side of Almaden Quicksilver County Park. The combined water is then spread across the ponds, seeping through the earth’s porous layers until it reaches underground aquifers, where it is stored until tapped by the county. Signs posted around the pools warn again of poisoned fish.
You are now officially in Silicon Valley. A few blocks ahead is the West Valley Freeway. Go east on the West Valley Freeway and after five miles you’ll have driven over one of the largest plumes of poisoned groundwater in the United States, over 3 miles long and 180 feet deep, contaminated with xylene, toluene and other volatile organic compounds, including the chlorinated solvent trichloroethane (TCA). Pump-and-treat groundwater cleanup operations continue to this day. The original source of this poison? Underground Tank Farm No. 1 of IBM’s Cottle Road Disk Drive Manufacturing Facility.
Built just three years after the disk drive was invented at IBM ARC in 1956, the Cottle Road plant was the first among dozens of manufacturing facilities — including those operated by Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Applied Materials and National Semiconductor — discovered in the early 1980s to have collectively leaked tens of thousands of gallons of organic solvents and other toxic contaminants into the groundwater of Silicon Valley. Today, the valley is home to more EPA Superfund sites (29) than any other county in the nation, with the most notorious of those sites — from a leaking tank at a Fairchild Semiconductor fabrication plant — poisoning a well that served the south San Jose neighborhood of Los Paseos. A subsequent study by the state’s Department of Health Services found 2.5 to three times the expected rate of miscarriages and birth defects among pregnant women exposed to the contaminated drinking water, leading to a lawsuit and multimillion-dollar settlement in 1986 with over 250 claimants.
The toxic details of Silicon Valley’s mercury-laden streams and contaminated aquifers are relatively well known. But another, even more troubling potential vector of deadly pollution has required more time to come to light — the “clean rooms” in which high-tech workers come into direct contact with a vast array of chemicals as they manufacture semiconductor-laden circuit boards and computer hard drives. According to a lawsuit filed in 1998 in Santa Clara County Superior Court on behalf of four cancer-stricken IBM employees and the families of five deceased workers — the number of plaintiffs has since quintupled to 45 — Big Blue and its chemical suppliers, including Union Carbide, Shell Oil and Eastman Kodak, fraudulently concealed from their employees the risks of adverse health effects, including fetal toxicity and cancer, arising from chronic, low-level exposures to chemicals used in the manufacture of disk drives and related circuitry. Solvents named in the complaint include many of the toxic compounds leaked into the groundwater two decades before.
In January, IBM and two chemical suppliers (Union Carbide and Ashland Chemical) settled a separate case in a similar wave of lawsuits involving about 200 current, former and deceased IBM employees, most of whom worked at a huge chip-making plant in East Fishkill, N.Y. But the amount of the settlement was not made public and IBM admitted no guilt.
And yet, IBM’s own corporate mortality statistics, charges the Santa Clara lawsuit, record a death rate from brain cancer among its employees about 2.5 times that of the general public. Did the chemicals involved in high-tech manufacturing cause the cancers? No one, not even experts who have long been critical of the potential safety hazards associated with clean-room workplaces, can say for certain. But numerous scientific studies have established that certain chemicals used in manufacturing semiconductors are statistically associated with increased rates of reproductive problems and various types of cancers. And the heart of the Santa Clara suit is the assertion that IBM repeatedly assured its workers that those workplaces were safe.
To the handful of experts occupied with the dismayingly difficult challenge of assessing the health threats of semiconductor manufacturing, IBM’s alleged confidence could not possibly have been merited. There simply hasn’t been enough testing and research into the health hazards posed by low-level exposure to combinations of toxic chemicals. If anything, the experience of the semiconductor industry should be sobering — the complexity of the chemical cocktails at use in modern high-tech industrial manufacturing is mind-boggling, and it is always getting more so. There is little chance, warn these experts, of ever catching up with the public health challenges inherent in new advances in technology, especially when the rate of change continues to accelerate. We may know that mercury is deadly, we’re pretty sure that drinking water contaminated with trichloroethane isn’t a good idea and we may finally be waking up to the dangers of making clean-room workers breathe the same recirculated air, laden with complex chemicals, all day long. But what do we know about the explosion of research in biotech, and microelectronic machines, or the next wave of advances in semiconductor manufacturing?
Is the price of technological advancement, and its consequent economic growth, to be paid in workers’ health? The legacy evident in Silicon Valley, since at least the 1850s, might hint at such a conclusion, although it also raises an obvious question: What alternatives do we have, if we are intent on technological progress? The lawsuits against IBM — the consummate symbol of high-tech prowess — might also give pause to the Silicon Valley’s more ardent advocates of high-tech progress. But instead of attempting to help public health officials and their own workers keep up with the challenges of accelerating technological change, for years the semiconductor industry has been more interested in investing its dollars in pretending that problems don’t exist.
Cottle Road, which today forms the western boundary of IBM’s disk drive manufacturing facility in San Jose, is named after one of the valley’s pioneer ranching families and forms part of what was once a vast Spanish land grant rancho. Orchards planted by the Cottles and dozens of other 19th century growers turned the valley into a world-famous provider of prunes and apricots, inspiring its first commercial nickname: the Valley of Heart’s Delight.
In the 1950s the prune and apricot orchards began to disappear to make space for the more than 2,500 electronics manufacturing firms that, by the early 1980s, had come to dominate the valley and would eventually lend it a new name, after the most common semiconductor substrate: silicon. The IBM campus, occupying approximately 1 square mile below Coyote Creek to the north and above the West Valley Freeway to the south, was built in 1959 on the commercial promise of the disk drive and solid-state electronics. At its peak it employed between 10,000 and 15,000 workers.
Virtually every computer currently manufactured owes something to the research carried out by IBM ARC scientists and the products then manufactured at the Cottle Road plant. ARC researchers came up with things like thin-film inductive heads, rotary actuators and sector servos — technologies found in most every modern hard drive, be it Quantum, Western Digital or any other brand owing its skeleton to IBM patents. Without a hard drive, no computer, not the IBM Thinkpad 600E on which this story is being typed, nor any of the rack of high-powered Web servers on which this story is being served, would be anything more than so much heavy metal and miscellaneous plastics.
Today, the Cottle Road plant is still the principal factory transforming the research and development of IBM ARC into salable product. This is where patented chemical formulations used in optical lithography — a process in which chip circuitry patterns are transferred onto silicon wafers — and disk-drive coating are mixed, packaged and shipped. It is where proprietary microcircuitry and subassemblies for new generations of disk drives are manufactured in the famous clean rooms — the factory floors of high-tech production whose highly protected environments require that workers take air showers before entering the “fab,” and wear head-to-toe “bunny suits” to protect the wafers from microscopic debris.
“The tiniest speck of dust on a chip could ruin thousands of transistors,” reads an exhibit at the Intel Museum in Santa Clara. Nowhere in the museum is it mentioned what health professionals and activists have attempted to point out since the late 1970s: that this “clean” environment has very little to do with safeguarding worker hygiene. The bunny suits may do an excellent job of preventing particles on employee clothes from damaging silicon wafers, but they are deplorably inadequate to protect workers against skin contact with the acids, solvents and other chemicals they use as a daily part of their job. Even worse, most clean-room ventilation systems are designed to recirculate the majority of the air used in the workplace, so as to prevent new infusions of airborne dust — in effect, workers are breathing the same chemically suffused air over and over again throughout the workday.
“Had I known that I was working with anything that could cause cancer, I would have had second thoughts about going to work there,” says Alida Hernandez, a former IBM employee and plaintiff in the Santa Clara lawsuit, who began her 14-year career at IBM washing residue from the surface of disk drives. She never knew what chemicals were in the wash, but a likely suspect is trichloroethane (TCA), a so-called safe substitute for the known carcinogen trichloroethylene (TCE), which itself was once touted as a safe substitute for the carcinogen perchloroethylene (PERC). In relatively low doses TCA can damage the liver, nervous system and circulatory system, and has been associated with brain cancer in gerbils exposed through inhalation. It is one of the contaminants in the solvent plume spreading beneath the Cottle Road plant, and shows up in Cottle Road’s Toxic Release Inventory data as late as 1991 — the year Hernandez left IBM.
Most of Hernandez’s 14-year career, however, was spent in the disk-coating operations, where she was exposed on a daily basis to another mix of solvents and resins that also included known or suspected carcinogens, in addition to liver and nervous-system toxicants. “We were given classes as to what to do in case of an explosion, what kind of a fire extinguisher to use if it was electrical or if it was chemical — those were the instructions they gave us. They didn’t say anything about the chemicals being bad for your [biological] system, or possibly cancer causing, or anything like that.”
Before starting each shift, it was Hernandez’s responsibility to inspect the back of her “operation” — as the coating workstations were called — to ensure the machine was running properly. If the mixers were running too fast, for example, air bubbles could end up in the coating formulation and ruin a batch of disk drives, not to mention an employee’s performance record. Workers were also responsible for cleaning the coating equipment with solvents several times throughout the workday.
“In coating you could only run 50 disks at a time without having to stop your operation and clean [the machine],” Hernandez says. Machines were cleaned chiefly with acetone, a moderately toxic solvent that is rapidly absorbed by the skin and is narcotic in high concentrations. Symptoms of acute exposure include convulsions, kidney and liver damage, and coma. Lower exposure symptoms include “slight intoxication, central nervous system depression, lassitude, drowsiness, loss of appetite, insomnia, somnolence, loss of strength, shallow respiration, weakness of the limbs, lightheadedness and general malaise.”
The National Toxicology Program safety data sheet on acetone recommends that workers wear “a full face chemical cartridge respirator equipped with the appropriate organic vapor cartridges” when handling this chemical. Hernandez was never provided with a respirator, or any other means of scrubbing organic contaminants from the air.
Hernandez, who was frequently in charge of running several machines at once, estimates that she passed from 350 to 375 disks through each machine per shift.
“Sometimes the [machine] lines would plug up and it was up to the operator to unplug those lines. You’d get coating all over yourself — I mean, it went right through your clothing. It went down to your skin. After you finished cleaning you just went and changed the outside smocks — the bunny suits — but your own clothing was all stained. It went right through the bunny suits.”
After the film had been applied, the disks were placed in drying machines that spewed mists filled with acetone and coating. That coating, states the complaint, contained the organic solvent xylene. An aromatic hydrocarbon — like benzene — xylene has long been implicated in toxicological literature for its adverse effects on the peripheral nervous system. Additionally, commercial formulations of xylene — at least in the early 1980s — contained concentrations of up to a few percent of its carcinogenic cousin benzene, according to a 1986 journal article, “Carcinogens and Cancer Risks in the Microelectronics Industry.” It too is one of the chemicals found in the Cottle Road groundwater plume.
Epoxy resins were another ingredient in disk coating, made from the compounds epichlorohydrin and bisphenol-A. The former chemical is mutagenic and genotoxic, and the latter is a known endocrine disruptor. Mutagenic and genotoxic “events” — in which genetic material is changed or damaged — are part of the first stage of cancer development, and may be indicative of cancer-causing chemicals. Epichlorohydrin is, in fact, a carcinogen. Endocrine disruptors are associated with reproductive and developmental harm.
Even today, clean-room workers continue to breathe recirculated air throughout their shifts. Machines are still cleaned, and metal surfaces degreased, with solvents, the most common being acetone and isopropyl alcohol, though more than a few companies — particularly the smaller, less recognizable firms — still use the carcinogen trichlorethylene or its cousin trichloroethane, according to annual Toxic Release Inventory data. To this day, the single most important chemical formulation in the manufacture of computer chips — the photoresist — is almost always a mixture of xylenes, carrier solvents, formaldehyde-based resins and genotoxic photoactive compounds. Other potential exposures in modern clean rooms include hydrofluoric acid, antimony, boron, phosphorous, gallium and arsenic.
Hernandez was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993, two years after leaving IBM. Hernandez has no family history of the disease. At the time of her departure, two of her immediate colleagues had fallen ill, says Hernandez. One female engineer was on a leave of absence as a result of breast cancer, and the employee who had trained Hernandez on disk-coating operations came down with skin cancer. Another colleague suffered a miscarriage.
Hernandez never connected the illnesses with the job until she was diagnosed with the disease herself. “It’s something you tell yourself always happens to somebody else, and never to you. When it happened to me, I started to think something was wrong.”
“My mother’s death should not have happened,” says Carmen Navarro, daughter of former IBM worker Alicia Apodaca, who rinsed and inspected silicon wafers in the clean rooms of Cottle Road from 1980 through 1989, and died of breast cancer at age 51. As with Hernandez, and the great majority of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, there was no history of the disease in Apodaca’s family. “She was vibrant, healthy. She didn’t smoke, she didn’t drink, she took good care of her health. She was loved by her six children, and by her grandchildren, whom she adored.”
“She had friendships with fellow employees at IBM — a few of them have also passed away with cancer,” Navarro says. One acquaintance died of lung cancer, another of brain cancer, says Navarro. “And it’s continuing,” she says. In mid-April, Navarro says she learned of another IBM worker of more than 20 years who was diagnosed with breast cancer. (IBM declined to comment on Navarro’s and Hernandez’s statements, citing pending litigation.)
“I believe that [IBM] knew that the chemicals were dangerous to the employees,” says Navarro. I do believe that. This should not have happened.”
“Workers are a kind of controlled experiment,” says Dr. Sandra Steingraber, author of “Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment,” an authoritative study of the growing body of evidence linking cancer to the environment. “We know they work in certain workplaces for a certain number of hours with certain kinds of exposures. It’s considered unethical to go out and do human experiments on a group of folks who aren’t workers — but this happens de facto in a lot of workplaces. Workers are the canaries in the mines.”
In the East Fishkill lawsuit, former IBM workers Michael Ruffing and Faye Calton are the parents of Zachary Ruffing, 15, who was born blind and with facial deformities so severe he cannot breathe through his mouth or nose. They originally sued for $40 million in damages. Other Fishkill cases name cancers of the gastrointestinal and lymphatic systems; of the skin, bone and brain; and, most commonly, of the breast and testes. The cases filed by Cottle Road employees reflect a similar suite of cancers, the majority of which — like the cancers listed above — have all shown increased rates over the past 20 years and show longer-term increases that can be traced back at least 40 years, megatrends that correspond with the proliferation of synthetic chemicals following World War II.
In fact, workers’ compensation statistics show that exposure to toxic chemicals — coded as “systemic poisoning” in California — is twice as likely to be a cause of occupational illness in electronics workers as it is for workers in other manufacturing industries. National figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the percentage of work-loss injuries and illnesses involving “exposures to caustic, noxious and allergenic substances” in recent years (1992-1998) was consistently between three and four times higher for workers in the semiconductor industry than in manufacturing industries as a whole, a group that includes manufacturers of petrochemicals, paper, petroleum, coal, steel, aluminum, plastics and rubber.
The BLS statistics do much to erode the perception that the high-tech industry is somehow “cleaner” than its predecessors. But what of the companies themselves? How much did they know about what they might be subjecting their workers to, and how hard were they trying to find out?
The simple fact is that it isn’t in the high-tech industry’s interest to know too much about the long-term health consequences of exposing its workers to toxic chemicals: The more it knows, the greater its legal liability. Of the few industry-funded studies of clean-room-related worker health problems, the two most significant examined workers’ reproductive problems. One study was funded by the Semiconductor Industry Association, or SIA, the other by IBM. Both studies were conducted after activists raised concerns about the toxicity of a group of chemicals called ethylene glycol ethers, or EGE, used in photoresist.
The IBM-funded study, whose preliminary findings were released in 1992, found that pregnant employees at IBM’s Fishkill lab who were exposed to EGE were roughly 1.5 times more likely to suffer a spontaneous abortion than unexposed workers. The authors emphasized that no conclusive causative chemical could be identified, but IBM acknowledged that it could be “inferred” that the cause of the increased miscarriages was exposure to EGE. Eventually, IBM and most of the industry stopped using EGE. (The SIA study came up with the same conclusions.)
What’s noteworthy is that the gloomy results of this study didn’t lead the industry to carry out more research into the long-term health consequences of exposure to other chemicals.
See no evil is a wise corporate strategy. But the Santa Clara lawsuit declares that IBM should have known that something was very wrong in its clean rooms, based on trends visible in its Corporate Mortality File, a database with work history on over 10,000 deceased IBM employees. Public access to the mortality file is currently restricted by a gag order, but the facts cited in the Santa Clara complaint are corroborated by statistics in a 1996 article in the scientific journal Epidemiology, “Brain Tumors Among Electronics Industry Workers.” The file is a substantially complete (99 percent) database of all U.S. IBM workers of five or more years who died between 1975 and 1989; the records were constructed from death certificates obtained by IBM “for administrative purposes”; and the cause of death in 149 of the total 10,331 cases was primary brain cancer. (The article never specifically identifies the subject company, but a footnote identifies IBM as the funder of the research, and the mortality statistics are identical to those included in the complaint.)
That’s quite a lot of brain cancer, about 2.5 times that of the general population, without factoring in biases for gender and age. More significantly, what this study found was an upward slope in brain cancer deaths among male electronics workers as duration of employment lengthened.
Because of the gag order, the other charges in the complaint — that these records prove IBM knew that workers involved in manufacturing electronic devices were at a significant risk not only of brain cancer but of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, gastric cancers and leukemia — cannot be independently confirmed. (IBM will not comment on pending litigation.) But if one traces the citations in the Epidemiology article back through the scientific literature a pattern emerges that raises troubling, unanswered questions about elevated risks of cancer among workers in the manufacture and repair of electronics, and particularly among workers with long-term work histories — specifically, 10 or more years — and with probable exposure to solders and organic solvents.
In 1985, the same year the elevated brain cancer mortality rates began showing up in the scientific literature, Gary Adams, a chemist working in the material analysis department in Cottle Road’s Building 13, where IBM disk drive coatings were developed, wrote a memo to IBM corporate headquarters. The memo alerted IBM officials to a cluster of cancers in his building. Eight out of his 14 immediate colleagues had fallen ill with some form of cancer.
Brain cancer had killed Adams’ colleagues John Wong and Al Smith; lymphatic and hematopoietic cancers killed his colleagues Gordon Mol and Dwayne Johnson; and gastric cancers killed his colleagues Robert Cappell and Ken Hart, states the complaint. When Adams and another colleague, Fred Tarman, developed bone tumors, they decided it had to be more than a statistical fluke.
“All of a sudden we began to worry,” Adams told “Dateline NBC” in 1998. “And then when another one [was diagnosed] and another one, it really began to hit home.” Adams said the response of a staff doctor to his request that the company monitor its workers’ health, particularly in Building 13, was to say such a program would be a waste of time, because “workers did not get cancer from their jobs.”
The official stance of the semiconductor industry has long been similar. At the end of each year, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the results of its survey on occupational health and safety, the Semiconductor Industry Association, which calls itself “the leading voice for the semiconductor industry,” and whose member companies constitute more than 90 percent of U.S.-based semiconductor production, issues a press release announcing that the industry ranks among the safest manufacturing industries in the nation. (The current SIA chairman, incidentally, is John Kelly III, a senior vice president at IBM.)
Molly Maar, a spokeswoman for the SIA, says too little is known about the chemicals involved to point fingers at any particular industry. “What we’re finding,” she says, referring to cancer risks among clean-room workers, “is that there’s not much scientific data out there … Studies aren’t inexpensive, and when you have many companies coming together, these things don’t happen overnight.”
IBM’s short, official statement following the Fishkill settlement admits of no doubt:
“No scientific data supports the allegations of [the plaintiffs]. No evidence conclusively links the cause of [the plaintiffs’ son’s] birth defects to the chemicals in question or, for that matter, any specific chemical at all.”
One of the toxicological literature’s most detailed surveys of health risks in clean rooms, it turns out, was written by a former IBM industrial physician, Dr. Myron Harrison, in a 1992 article titled “Semiconductor Manufacturing Hazards.” If there is a smoking gun for IBM, showing just how much it knew or should have known about potential health risks in clean rooms during the late 1980s, it is to be found is this exhaustive analysis of the potential hazards and exposure pathways of chemicals at every stage of chip making.
“If you look at the very early studies of chemical carcinogenesis,” says Dr. Steingraber, author of “Living Downstream,” “a lot of them were done by researchers who were industrial toxicologists, who might have originally worked for an oil company or something like that. They’re right on the front lines … When they have the courage and integrity to publish their findings, that’s some of the best science that we have showing the relationship between chemical carcinogens and cancer.”
Harrison’s catalog of health risks is staggering. He lists potential exposures of workers to arsenic in the manufacture of gallium-arsenide wafers; to acid aerosols in the “wet etch” stage of chip lithography; and to toxic gases of arsine and boron in the operation of dopant implantation tools. He attests to cases of hydrofluoric acid burns during the cleaning of furnace tubes; of exposure to corrosive solvents in wet-stripping processes; and of untested photoactive compounds being sprayed by photoresist spinners. He warns of “catastrophic accidents” in the replacing of gas cylinders and the draining and refilling of wet chemical baths; of malfunctioning ventilation systems; and of widespread respiratory complaints among workers, including sinusitis, laryngitis and asthma. He documents mercury exposure from arc lamps; “relatively frequent” chemical fires at storage sinks; and solvent overflows in tool exhaust systems.
Harrison begins his article with an extensively diagrammed treatment of what remains the most worrisome — and least acknowledged — pathway of exposure in clean rooms: the vaporized mix of organic chemicals recirculated by the ventilation systems. A rule of thumb proposed by Harrison is that 90 percent of the air in a clean room is recirculated per hour, to minimize the introduction of contaminants that might degrade semiconductors or other advanced technological fabrications. He also shows how fumes can enter into circulation through “service cores,” where vapors escape during equipment maintenance and where chemical spills are most likely to occur.
On top of that, recent evidence suggests that 15 percent of new fume hoods — the local exhaust system for clean-room workstations — fail to operate properly, potentially blowing toxic vapors back at the worker and into the clean-room environment.
“The ventilation conditions in clean rooms are very turbulent, and they cause a lot of problems,” says Tom Smith of Exposure Control Technologies, a business that tests and evaluates laboratory ventilation systems. “Fume hoods [designed for the microelectronics industry], when we’ve tested them in clean rooms, generally only have a capture effectiveness about six inches above the work surface. If you get above that, or if you have a very volatile process, they just spill. And the clean-room airflow is so turbulent that it competes with these hoods, and the vapors escape from these hoods and infiltrate the return air system and are recirculated with the air handler.”
And there are, without question, plenty of chemical vapors that can escape into the air system during the manufacture of a single computer chip, beginning with the pulling of a silicon crystal to the apotheosized “metallization” of the wafer — the industry’s term of art for deposition of electrical connections of aluminum on silicon. Figures based on a speech by a Texas Instruments fellow at the International Symposium on Semiconductor Manufacturing in September 1993 estimate that Intel’s state-of-the-art chip fabrication plant in Rio Rancho, N.M., consumes, in a single year of manufacturing, 832 million cubic feet of bulk gases, 5.72 million cubic feet of hazardous gases and 5.2 million pounds of chemicals.
These figures, though prodigal, are deceptively simple, for they do not indicate the unprecedented spectrum of chemicals used in semiconductor manufacturing. In his 1992 article, Harrison prefaces a section titled “Selected Toxic Hazards” with the disclaimer: “An attempt to review the toxicology of all the thousands of chemicals in use at a typical fabrication plant is doomed to be superficial and of little value.”
And the acceleration of the use of new techniques and new chemicals in new combinations in high-tech manufacturing makes safety evaluation harder all the time. “Professionals associated with this industry,” wrote Harrison, “have invariably commented on the rapid pace of change in tools and materials, and on the fact that adequate toxicologic assessment of chemicals almost never precedes their introduction into manufacturing settings.”
Harrison’s frustration is echoed by Joseph LaDou, director of occupational and environmental health at the University of San Francisco. LaDou calls chip making “one of the most chemical-intensive industries ever conceived.”
“The air-filtering systems do not alter chemicals except to dilute and recirculate them; and smocks and head gear do not protect workers from toxic exposures,” LaDou wrote in 1984. He reiterates the point in an interview 17 years later. “Not only are you recycling the vaporized chemicals, but you’re presumably allowing them to react with one another and introducing reactants into the air and recycling those as well.”
“Most of our [health] regulations are predicated on workers being exposed to one chemical, maybe two or three — but what do you do when they’re exposed to a hundred?” LaDou asks. “What we have here is a brand-new work setting with an almost scientifically impossible question to answer — how do you determine if a recirculated mix of chemicals is safe? — and there is no magic formula.”
“The problem with the spectrum of chemicals used in semiconductor manufacturing is that it could conceivably cause any cancer anywhere in the body,” says LaDou. “When you find a cancer in a semiconductor worker, it’s almost impossible to find a smoking gun.”
While Clinton in 1990s started the CORPORATIZATION OF OUR US UNIVERSITIES----it was a Berkeley and Stanford IVY LEAGUES with white 5% to the 1% executives ----MY 5% who I shouted loudly against back then who teamed with Urban League and NAACP. Back then we thought these black organizations were working for equality for all citizens when in fact this was the start of the ME GENERATION----MAKING MYSELF AS RICH AS POSSIBLE ANYWAY I COULD. Our national women's organizations should have been leading against these environmental disasters but they too had global Wall Street players installed.
When we shout against the race and class issues around environmental injustice----these are those 5% we need to hold accountable. Who were those Silicon pols pushing all these toxic and global Wall Street policies ------WOMEN THE NATIONAL MEDIA CALLED FEMINIST LEADERS........PELOSI, BOXER, FEINGOLD, GLORIA STEINEM------all knowing where these global technology policies would lead---killing 99% of women and families.
NAACP HAS FINANCIAL CRISES AND IN COMES GLOBAL WALL STREET TO CONTROL ITS POLICIES.
'The 1990sIn the 1990s, the NAACP ran into debt. The dismissal of two leading officials further added to the picture of an organization in deep crisis.
In 1993 the NAACP's Board of Directors narrowly selected Reverend Benjamin Chavis over Reverend Jesse Jackson to fill the position of Executive Director. A controversial figure, Chavis was ousted eighteen months later by the same board. They accused him of using NAACP funds for an out-of-court settlement in a sexual harassment lawsuit. Following the dismissal of Chavis, Myrlie Evers-Williams narrowly defeated NAACP chairperson William Gibson for president in 1995, after Gibson was accused of overspending and mismanagement of the organization's funds.
In 1996 Congressman Kweisi Mfume, a Democratic Congressman from Maryland and former head of the Congressional Black Caucus, was named the organization's president. Three years later strained finances forced the organization to drastically cut its staff, from 250 in 1992 to 50'.
Silicon Valley has always been awful to women because those GEEKS AND PHYSICISTS have long been a bit OLD BOYS SCHOOL. So, in 1990s under Clinton we see a bunch of WOMEN AS DEMOCRATS ----PELOSI, BOXER, FEINSTEIN, PATTY MURRAY ----global Wall Street 5% to the 1% women CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS being cheerleaders for global corporations who have no intention of keeping women in executive positions beyond MOVING FORWARD.
Since this was all happening in San Fran home of our GBLT voters -----they were captured by these global technology and Wall Street policies even though----GBLT will be thrown under the bus. Today San Fran is no longer that GBLT mecca-----so population groups really do need to stay with the LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE PLATFORM OF EQUAL PROTECTION FOR ALL 99% OF CITIZENS.
THIS WAS WHEN OUR LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE WOMEN BECAME HILLARY'S 5% NASTY GLOBAL WALL STREET WORKING FOR THOSE GLOBAL 1% AND THEIR 2%.
Why Is Silicon Valley So Awful to Women?
Tech companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to improve conditions for female employees. Here’s why not much has changed—and what might actually work.
Jason Madara / Erik Tanner / Paul Spella / The Atlantic
点击这里阅读中文版本 | Read this article in Chinese.
One weekday morning in 2007, Bethanye Blount came into work early to interview a job applicant. A veteran software engineer then in her 30s, Blount held a senior position at the company that runs Second Life, the online virtual world. Good-natured and self-confident, she typically wore the kind of outfit—jeans, hoodie, sneakers—that signals coding gravitas. That day, she might even have been wearing what’s known as the “full-in start-up twin set”: a Second Life T-shirt paired with a Second Life hoodie.
In short, everything about her indicated that she was a serious technical person. So she was taken aback when the job applicant barely gave her the time of day. He knew her job title. He knew she would play a key role in deciding whether he got hired. Yet every time Blount asked him a question about his skills or tried to steer the conversation to the scope of the job, he blew her off with a flippant comment. Afterward, Blount spoke to another top woman—a vice president—who said he’d treated her the same way.
Obviously Second Life wasn’t going to hire this bozo. But what the heck: He was here, and they had a new employee, a man, who needed practice giving interviews, so they sent him in. When the employee emerged, he had an odd look on his face. “I don’t know what just happened,” he said. “I went in there and told him I was new, and all he said was he was so glad I was there: ‘Finally, somebody who knows what’s going on!’ ”
All Blount could do was laugh—even now, as she looks back on the incident. In the hierarchy of sexist encounters, it didn’t rank very high. Still, it was a reminder that as a woman in tech, she should be prepared to have her authority questioned at any moment, even by some guy trying to get a job at her company.
One reason her career had gone so well, she thinks, is that she’d made a point of ignoring slights and oafish comments. Awkward silences, too. Over the years, she’s experienced—many times—the sensation of walking up to a group of male colleagues and noticing that they fell quiet, as though they’d been talking about something they didn’t want her to hear. She’s been asked to take notes in meetings. She’s found herself standing in elevators at tech conferences late at night when a guy would decide to get, as she puts it, handsy. When she and a male partner started a company, potential investors almost always directed their questions to him—even when the subject clearly fell in Blount’s area of expertise. It drove him crazy, and Blount had to urge him to curb his irritation. “I didn’t have time to be pissed,” she says.
Bethanye Blount, co-founder and CEO, Cathy Labs (Jason Madara)But at some point, something inside her broke. Maybe it was being at tech conferences and hearing herself, the “elder stateswoman,” warning younger women to cover their drinks, because such conferences—known for alcohol, after-parties, and hot women at product booths—have been breeding grounds for unwanted sexual advances and assaults, and you never knew whether some jerk might put something in your cocktail. She couldn’t believe that women still had to worry about such things; that they still got asked to fetch coffee; that she still heard talk about how hiring women or people of color entailed “lowering the bar”; that women still, often, felt silenced or attacked when expressing opinions online.
“I am angry that things are no better for a 22-year-old at the beginning of her career than they were for me 25 years ago when I was just starting out,” Blount says. “I made decisions along the way that were easier for me and helped me succeed—don’t bring attention to being a woman, never talk about gender, never talk about ‘these things’ with men,” unless the behavior was particularly egregious. “It helped me get through. But in retrospect I feel I should have done more.”
Blount decided it was never too late to start speaking out, and teamed up with other women who had undergone a similar awakening. This past May, they formed a group called Project Include, which aims to provide companies and investors with a template for how to be better. One of her collaborators on the effort, Susan Wu, an entrepreneur and investor, says that when she was teaching herself to code as a teenager, she was too naive to perceive the sexism of internet culture. But as she advanced in her career and moved into investing and big-money venture capitalism, she came to see the elaborate jiu-jitsu it takes for a woman to hold her own. At one party, the founder of a start-up told Wu she’d need to spend “intimate time” with him to get in on his deal. An angel investor leading a different deal told her something similar. She became a master of warm, but firm, self-extrication.
Looking back, Wu is struck by “the countless times I’ve had to move a man’s hand from my thigh (or back or shoulder or hair or arm) during a meeting (or networking event or professional lunch or brainstorming session or pitch meeting) without seeming confrontational (or bitchy or rejecting or demanding or aggressive).” In a land of grand ideas and grander funding proposals, she found that the ability to neatly reject a man’s advances without injuring his ego is “a pretty important skill that I would bet most successful women in our industry have.”
Wu learned how to calibrate the temperature of her demeanor: friendly and approachable, neither too intimate nor too distant. She learned the fine art of the three-quarters smile, as well as how to deflect conversation away from her personal life and return it to topics like sports and market strategy. She learned to distinguish between actual predators and well-meaning guys who were just a bit clueless. And yet to not be overly wary, because that, too, can affect career prospects.
The dozens of women I interviewed for this article love working in tech. They love the problem-solving, the camaraderie, the opportunity for swift advancement and high salaries, the fun of working with the technology itself. They appreciate their many male colleagues who are considerate and supportive. Yet all of them had stories about incidents that, no matter how quick or glancing, chipped away at their sense of belonging and expertise. Indeed, a recent survey called “Elephant in the Valley” found that nearly all of the 200-plus senior women in tech who responded had experienced sexist interactions. (And just as the print version of this article went to press, a former Uber engineer added to the evidence of Silicon Valley’s gender problem when she wrote a blog post detailing what she said was a pattern of sexist behavior at the company.)
As Bethanye Blount’s and Susan Wu’s examples show, succeeding in tech as a woman requires something more treacherous than the old adage about Ginger Rogers doing everything Fred Astaire did, only backwards and in high heels. It’s more like doing everything backwards and in heels while some guy is trying to yank at your dress, and another is telling you that a woman can’t dance as well as a man, oh, and could you stop dancing for a moment and bring him something to drink?
Such undermining is one reason women today hold only about a quarter of U.S. computing and mathematical jobs—a fraction that has actually fallen slightly over the past 15 years, even as women have made big strides in other fields. Women not only are hired in lower numbers than men are; they also leave tech at more than twice the rate men do. It’s not hard to see why. Studies show that women who work in tech are interrupted in meetings more often than men. They are evaluated on their personality in a way that men are not. They are less likely to get funding from venture capitalists, who, studies also show, find pitches delivered by men—especially handsome men—more persuasive. And in a particularly cruel irony, women’s contributions to open-source software are accepted more often than men’s are, but only if their gender is unknown.
Stephanie Lampkin, founder and CEO, Blendoor (Jason Madara)For women of color, the cumulative effect of these slights is compounded by a striking lack of racial diversity—and all that attends it. Stephanie Lampkin, who was a full-stack developer (meaning she had mastered both front-end and back-end systems) by age 15 and majored in engineering at Stanford, has been told when applying for a job that she’s “not technical enough” and should consider sales or marketing—an experience many white women in the field can relate to. But she has also, for instance, been told by a white woman at a conference that her name ought to be Ebony because of the color of her skin.
In the past several years, Silicon Valley has begun to grapple with these problems, or at least to quantify them. In 2014, Google released data on the number of women and minorities it employed. Other companies followed, including LinkedIn, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, eBay, and Apple. The numbers were not good, and neither was the resulting news coverage, but the companies pledged to spend hundreds of millions of dollars changing their work climates, altering the composition of their leadership, and refining their hiring practices.
At long last, the industry that has transformed how we learn, think, buy, travel, cook, socialize, live, love, and work seemed ready to turn its disruptive instincts to its own gender inequities—and in the process develop tools and best practices that other, less forward-looking industries could copy, thus improving the lives of working women everywhere.
Three years in, Silicon Valley diversity conferences and training sessions abound; a cottage industry of consultants and software makers has sprung up to offer solutions. Some of those fixes have already started filtering out to workplaces beyond the tech world, because Silicon Valley is nothing if not evangelical. But the transformation hasn’t yet materialized: The industry’s diversity numbers have barely budged, and many women say that while sexism has become somewhat less overt, it’s just as pernicious as ever. Even so, there may be reason for hope as companies begin to figure out what works—and what doesn’t.
When Silicon Valley was emerging, after World War II, software programming was considered rote and unglamorous, somewhat secretarial—and therefore suitable for women. The glittering future, it was thought, lay in hardware. But once software revealed its potential—and profitability—the guys flooded in and coding became a male realm.
The advent of the home computer may have hastened this shift. Early models like the Commodore 64 and the Apple IIc were often marketed as toys. According to Jane Margolis, a researcher at UCLA, families bought them and put them in their sons’ rooms, even when they had technologically inclined daughters. By the time the children of the ’80s and ’90s reached college, many of the boys already knew how to code. Fewer girls did.
But that was a long time ago. Consider where we are today. More than half of college and university students are women, and the percentage of women entering many stem fields has risen. Computer science is a glaring exception: The percentage of female computer- and information-science majors peaked in 1984, at about 37 percent. It has declined, more or less steadily, ever since. Today it stands at 18 percent.
“Workplace conditions, a lack of access to key creative roles, and a sense of feeling stalled” are the main reasons women leave tech.Claudia Goldin, a Harvard economist, told me that tech would seem to be an attractive field for women, since many companies promise the same advantages—flexibility and reasonable hours—that have drawn women in droves to other professions that were once nearly all male. The big tech companies also offer family-friendly perks like generous paid parental leave; new moms at Google, for instance, get 22 paid weeks. “These should be the best jobs for people who want predictability and flexibility,” Goldin said. “So what’s happening?”
A report by the Center for Talent Innovation found that when women drop out of tech, it’s usually not for family reasons. Nor do they drop out because they dislike the work—to the contrary, they enjoy it and in many cases take new jobs in sectors where they can use their technical skills. Rather, the report concludes that “workplace conditions, a lack of access to key creative roles, and a sense of feeling stalled in one’s career” are the main reasons women leave. “Undermining behavior from managers” is a major factor.
The hostility of the culture is such an open secret that tweets and essays complaining of sexism tend to begin with a disclaimer acknowledging how shopworn the subject feels. “My least favorite topic in the world is ‘Women in Tech,’ so I am going to make this short,” wrote one blogger, noting that after she started speaking at conferences and contributing to open-source projects, she began to get threatening and abusive emails, including from men who said they “jerked off to my conference talk video.” Another woman tweeted that, while waiting to make a presentation at Pubcon, a prestigious conference, she was told by a male attendee, “Don’t be nervous. You’re hot! No one expects you to do well.”
In the office, sexism typically takes a subtler form. The women I spoke with described a kind of gaslighting: They find themselves in enviably modern workspaces, surrounded by right-thinking colleagues and much talk of meritocracy, yet feel disparaged in ways that are hard to articulate, let alone prove.
Telle Whitney, the president and CEO of the Anita Borg Institute, a nonprofit that supports women in technology, says gender bias is a big problem in start-ups, which are frequently run by brotherhoods of young men—in many cases friends or roommates—straight out of elite colleges. In 2014, for instance, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel was two years out of Stanford and already leading a $10 billion company when his frat-boy-at-his-misogynistic-worst undergraduate emails were published and went viral. In them, his only slightly younger self joked about shooting lasers at “fat girls,” described a Stanford dean as “dean-julie-show-us-your-tits,” and for good measure, saluted another fraternity because it had decided to “stop being gay.”
But while start-ups may be the worst offenders, it’s notable how often the staid older companies also make missteps. Just last year, Microsoft hosted a party that featured “schoolgirl” dancers wearing short uniform-type skirts and bra tops, dancing on podiums. The event followed the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco—where, earlier that day, the company had sponsored a Women in Gaming Luncheon to promote a culture of inclusivity.
And then there are the public utterances that reveal what some leading men in tech think of women and their abilities. When Sir Michael Moritz, the chair of Sequoia Capital, one of Silicon Valley’s most venerable venture-capital firms, was asked by a Bloomberg reporter why the firm had no female investing partners in the U.S., he responded, “We look very hard,” adding that the firm had “hired a young woman from Stanford who’s every bit as good as her peers.” But, he added, “what we’re not prepared to do is to lower our standards.”
When Ellen Pao sued another prominent venture-capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, for gender discrimination, the 2015 trial sent a frisson through the tech world. Former Yahoo President Sue Decker wrote an essay for Recode, the tech-industry website, saying that she had been obsessively following the trial because it resonated so deeply with her. She took her daughters out of school to hear the closing arguments. “I, and most women I know, have been a party to at least some sexist or discriminatory behavior in the workplace,” she wrote, explaining that she and many other women had witnessed things like “locker-room discussion during travel with colleagues,” which they tried to brush aside, since “any individual act seems silly to complain about.” The Pao trial, however, shifted her attitude.
Pao lost the case, but the trial was a watershed. Afterward, a group of seven senior women in tech conducted the “Elephant in the Valley” survey. Eighty-four percent of the respondents had been told they were too aggressive; 66 percent had felt excluded from key networking opportunities because of their gender; 90 percent had witnessed sexist behavior at conferences and company off-site meetings; 88 percent had had clients and colleagues direct questions to male peers that should have been addressed to them; and 60 percent had fended off unwanted sexual advances (in most cases from a superior). Of those women, one-third said they had feared for their personal safety.
Pao went on to co-found Project Include with Blount, Wu, and others, including Tracy Chou. A software engineer who graduated from Stanford, Chou told me about working at a start-up where a co-founder would often muse that a man they’d just hired would turn out to be better and faster than she was. When Chou discovered a significant flaw in the company’s code and pointed it out, her engineering team dismissed her concerns, saying that they had been using the code for long enough that any problems would have been discovered. Chou persisted, saying she could demonstrate the conditions under which the bug was triggered. Finally, a male co-worker saw that she was right and raised the alarm, whereupon people in the office began to listen. Chou told her team that she knew how to fix the flaw; skeptical, they told her to have two other engineers review the changes and sign off on them, an unusual precaution. Her co-workers rationalized their scrutiny by explaining that the bug was important, and so was the fix.
Tracy Chou, co-founder, Project Include (Erik Tanner)“I knew it was important,” she told me recently. “That’s why I was trying to flag it.”
For Chou, even the open-office floor plan was stressful: It meant there was no way to escape a male co-worker who liked to pop up behind her and find fault with her work. She was called “emotional” when she raised technical concerns and was expected to be nice and never complain, even as people around her made excuses for male engineers who were difficult to work with. The company’s one other female engineer felt the same way Chou did—as if they were held to a different standard. It wasn’t overt sexism; it was more like being dismissed and disrespected, “not feeling like we were good enough to be there—even though, objectively speaking, we were.”
What started out for our GBLT citizens as the majority in San Fran came high employment ---what came these few decades was the creation of that 5% to the 1% GBLT. These are the people and organizations creating that mess in SILICON VALLEY complete with public health crises----environmental injustice-----housing injustice-----worker's displaced and impoverished. It was not the 99% of white citizens----it was not the 99% of black citizens----it was not the 99% of brown citizens----
IT WAS THOSE DASTARDLY 5% TO THE 1% ACROSS ALL POPULATION GROUPS---LIVING FOR MONEY IN POCKET TODAY.
If we watched the development of San Fran and Silicon Valley WE KNOW to where development policies will go in all other US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES----like Baltimore, Newark, Camden, Phila, Providence, Cinncinati, Akron, Pittsburgh, and across the southern states.
The same global Wall Street Baltimore Development 'labor and justice' organizations led by these same 5% players are pushing the same population groups into what will be the most toxic areas while making city centers global 1% and their 2%----and while it may be mostly those white affluent ---they are the next to go under the bus.
NOW WE HAVE THOSE IMMIGRANT CITIZENS BEING MADE TO FEEL THEY ARE THE WINNERS WHEN THEY WILL VERY SOON BE GREAT BIG LOSERS.
The Bleaching of San Francisco: Extreme Gentrification and Suburbanized Poverty in the Bay Area
Sunday, April 27, 2014 By Adam Hudson, Truthout | News Analysis
Protesters block a Facebook bus at intersection of San Francisco's Market and 8th Streets and show unfair system of private tech buses. (Photo: Adam Hudson)
On January 21, dozens of protesters, decrying displacement and inequality, gathered near City Hall in San Francisco on a chilly Tuesday morning. At around 9:15 a.m., they marched down Market Street and blockaded two tech shuttles, one that was parked at a MUNI (San Francisco Municipal Railway) bus stop, the other in the middle of the street. Tech shuttles - also infamously known as "Google buses" - are private corporate buses that take tech industry workers from their homes in San Francisco down the peninsula to work in Silicon Valley.
Protesters surrounded the buses and placed signs near them that read: "Stop Displacement Now" and "Warning: Rents and evictions up near private shuttle stops." A UC-Berkeley study and maps show that evictions and rent increases often follow the locations of tech bus stops. One sign bluntly read: "Fuck off Google."
Present at the protest was Martina Ayala, a teacher, artist and consultant for San Francisco nonprofits working with low-income families. She is currently facing a no-fault eviction from her residence in San Francisco's Outer Richmond neighborhood that sits next to the Pacific Ocean beach. Ayala told Truthout, "The landlord would like us to self-evict" - but not by way of a buy-out, in which landlords evict tenants by paying them to leave. Instead, Ayala said, "They're trying to get us out without having to pay the eviction costs. And so they're doing that by harassing us and calling us every day, sending us three-day notice to pay rent or quit without following through with service." Why would the landlord go to such lengths to push the family out? Ayala says, "Even though we are paying $1,750, that is still not enough for the landlord, because the average rent is now $3,000."
The Google bus blockade lasted for a half-hour. Afterward, the crowd marched down Grove Street to the San Francisco Association of Realtors, then ended at City Hall. Much of the media coverage of the protest focused on the Google bus blockade. However, the protesters emphasized that the tech industry was not the only culprit. Developers, real estate brokers, and City Hall all play a role in economically displacing many San Francisco residents.
Not all protesters were mad at the tech workers riding the buses. Some encouraged tech workers to support the protesters' cause. One sign read, "Get off the bus, join us!"
"Those buses, for us, is just a symbol of what rich folks can get away with."A few hours after the protest, swarms of residents, tech industry workers and reporters packed themselves inside City Hall to attend a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) hearing about starting a pilot program to have tech shuttles pay $1 each time they use a MUNI bus stop. It is against city law for others to block MUNI bus stops. Violators have to pay a $271 fine. MUNI bus riders pay $2 per ride. People who ride the bus and don't pay bus fare face a $100 fine. Poor people and people of color are often targeted by transit agents and police for not paying fare. Tech bus riders, on the other hand, do not face such penalties.
The hearing was divided by tech industry workers, who largely supported the plan, and residents who felt it wasn't enough to curb the deeper problem of displacement. At the hearing, Roberto Hernandez of Our Mission No Eviction, a San Francisco resident born and raised in the Mission District, said, "Children are getting to school late because of these tech buses that roll through the Mission. They're late, and they don't eat breakfast. So they're there with an empty stomach. They start in school late because they're getting to school late." Rodriguez told Truthout he had no problem with tech workers, but felt the $1 fee plan was an "insult" and "had no involvement of the community at all. We're concerned about the impact that these buses are having." He added, "If you ride a MUNI bus, it's slow; it's late; it stinks. Now you ride one of those [tech] buses, you get Wi-Fi; you get luxury on that bus; you get everything. But those buses, for us, is just a symbol of what rich folks can get away with." After about three to four hours of discussion, the city approved the pilot program. The next month, after pressure from community activists and organizations like People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER), Google agreed to donate $6.8 million over the next two years to fund free MUNI passes for low- and middle-income youth.
Two weeks after the tech shuttle hearing was the San Francisco Tenants' Convention, where hundreds of city residents and leaders gathered in an elementary school cafeteria to propose solutions to fix the city's housing problem. San Francisco Supervisor David Campos, who represents the Mission District, attended the convention to show support for the growing movement. "Right now, the middle class in San Francisco is being pushed out. It's becoming a city that only millionaires can afford, and you see here that there is a groundswell across the city that people are saying, 'We're not gonna let that happen anymore. We want a city that is affordable for all of us.'"
Also at the convention was Tyler Macmillan, the executive director of the Eviction Defense Collaborative (EDC), a nonprofit legal services clinic that assists residents facing eviction lawsuits from landlords. He told Truthout how the city's judicial system works against eviction victims. "The vast majority of laws are written by and for folks who own property," said Macmillan. "So when you fight to defend evictions, you face a code of civil procedure, the civil code, even elements of our local law that really favor folks who are wealthy and who have access to good attorneys. And so for most tenants in San Francisco, both of those things are missing. They don't have money to get to an attorney, and then they're dealing with a set of laws that are really, especially at the state level, against them in terms of the rights of property."
To evict a tenant, landlords give them a three-day notice to pay rent or leave. If neither happens, then the landlord can file a lawsuit to evict. Tenants are given a five-day summons to appear in court, which is barely enough time to get a lawyer and prepare oneself to fight an arduous legal battle. Moreover, most judges are property owners and landlords. As a result, "they come in with the assumption that the tenant is wrong," says Macmillan.
A New Wave of Gentrification
Google bus stopped in the middle of 8th Street by more protesters condemning tech industry's role in gentrification and displacement. (Photo: Adam Hudson)
San Francisco is experiencing a wave of unprecedented hyper-gentrification and urban removal. The city was gentrified before, and has long been a pricey place, but this current episode is more extreme than previous ones.
San Francisco rent has skyrocketed to obscene levels. Median rent in San Francisco is over $3,000 a month, with some neighborhoods in the $4,000-$5,000 range. Average rent is in the same range. Even rooms for $1,000 a month are virtually nonexistent. Rents in 2013 increased over 10 percent from the previous year, which is more than three times higher than the national average of 3 percent. This makes San Francisco perhaps the least affordable city for middle-class families in the country, with New York City following closely behind. It's so expensive that even San Francisco's minimum wage, which is the highest in the country at over $10 an hour, is barely enough to live. One would have to work five, six, or more minimum-wage jobs to make the city's rent. Moreover, San Francisco is one of the most unequal urban areas, and its income inequality is growing the fastest in the nation.
"What they do in San Francisco, they send black people to prison and [provide] no jobs."
Evictions have also shot up, displacing hundreds of San Francisco residents. According to the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, a grassroots project that has been counting and mapping evictions in San Francisco, "The number of evictions in 2013 has surpassed evictions in 2006, the height of the real estate bubble. Total no-fault evictions are up 17 percent compared to 2006. More significantly, there has been a 115 percent increase in total evictions since last year" in 2012. From 1997 to 2013, there have been over 11,000 no-fault evictions - either through demolition, owner move-in, or the Ellis Act. The Ellis Act is a California state law that allows landlords to evict tenants to "go out of business" by pulling their property off the market. This allows speculators to swoop in and flip the property. In fact, speculators are driving many Ellis Act evictions. The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project reports that Ellis Act evictions "increased by 175 percent" in 2013 "compared to the year before." Additionally, "Demolitions have gone from 45 in 2006 to 134 in 2013, a 197 percent increase."
The displacement of San Francisco's African-American population was the canary in the coal mine for today's current incarnation of gentrification. Previous waves of gentrification and urban renewal, particularly in neighborhoods like the Fillmore District, which is famous for its historic jazz scene and was long known as the "Harlem of the West," exiled many African Americans from San Francisco. According to census figures, in 1970, African American's constituted 13.4 percent of the city's population. In 1980, they dropped to 12.7 percent; then to 10.9 percent in 1990. By 2000, African Americans made up 7.8 percent of the city's population. Now, San Francisco's black population hovers around 5 percent or 6 percent only.
In April 2011, with a push from Mayor Ed Lee, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a city ordinance that gives Twitter and other tech companies a 1.5 percent city payroll tax cut for the next six years in return for those businesses staying in San Francisco's mid-Market Street area.Willie Ratcliff, publisher of San Francisco Bay View newspaper, told Truthout "San Francisco has certainly conspired to drive us [African Americans] out of here" through racially discriminatory practices in the economic and criminal justice systems. "Particularly, what they do in San Francisco, they send black people to prison and [provide] no jobs." While they are 6 percent of the city's population, African Americans constitute 56 percent of San Francisco jail inmates. Unemployment for black San Franciscans has remained high for a while. For black youth, unemployment is 19.4 percent, while it is 4.8 percent for the city. African Americans are also disproportionately impacted by evictions in San Francisco, as they are 29 percent of EDC's clients for eviction lawsuits, according to the group's studies.
The wave is so severe that nonprofits and organizations that help marginalized communities are struggling to finance their offices in San Francisco. Homeless Youth Alliance, which helped homeless youth for over a decade, closed last Christmas because it could not afford rent. To fix this, the city plans to "spend $4.5 million to assist nonprofits facing eviction or struggling to make rent," according to the the San Francisco Examiner.
As the poor and middle classes are pushed out of the city, San Francisco welcomes the booming tech industry, whose workers' average salaries are over $100,000. In April 2011, with a push from Mayor Ed Lee, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a city ordinance that gives Twitter and other tech companies a 1.5 percent city payroll tax cut for the next six years in return for those businesses staying in San Francisco's mid-Market Street area. The tax breaks must be re-approved every year. In 2012, the tax cuts cost the city $1.9 million and were re-approved for this year. Twitter is expected to get $22 million from the tax break over six years and possibly more since stock options are untaxed, and the company is now publicly traded. Twitter's IPO is also expected to create more millionaires.
In exchange for tax breaks, San Francisco's tech companies have to make charitable contributions to the city known as community benefit agreements (CBAs). But those contributions largely benefit other members of the tech industry. They include Yelp reviews, cocktail parties and employee-only ballet performances. Contributions are made at the company's whim, and there is no enforcement mechanism to ensure they help the community. Meanwhile, community members have yet to see anything meaningful come from the CBAs.
Who is this development for?Some argue that San Francisco's housing problem stems from a lack of supply. If the city built more housing, the argument goes, rent would come down, but the city makes it difficult to build. However, San Francisco has had a building boom since 2012, and rent has increased instead of decreased. San Francisco's chief economist Ted Egan said that to noticeably reduce rental prices, the city would have to build 100,000 market-rate units - the same amount it's built since the 1920s. Mayor Ed Lee, meanwhile, has proposed to build 30,000 housing units by 2020. Building 100,000 market-rate units would have the same impact on affordability as giving every low-income household - about 56,000 in the city - $75,000 to assist their down payments, according to Egan. Unless San Francisco is willing to build an extremely high amount, building more housing would hardly reduce rental costs. Additionally, while building more housing is not bad, the issue is what kind. As Uptown Almanac's Jackson West points out, "even if you remove the permitting costs from the process, it's not profitable to build anything but luxury housing." This raises the question - who is this development for?
The Process of Gentrification
Whenever the term "gentrification" is thrown around, confusion often follows. Director Spike Lee went on an expletive-laden rant against gentrification in New York City, saying, "You can't do that. You can't just come in the neighborhood and start bogarting and say, like you're motherfuckin' Columbus and kill off the Native Americans. Or what they do in Brazil, what they did to the indigenous people. You have to come with respect. There's a code. There's people." In response, columnist Joshua Greenman wrote in the New York Daily News, "But Americans of all races, motivated by economic and cultural currents, have moved from city to city, and from neighborhood to neighborhood, since civilization began. . . . Everyone replaces someone. Sometimes, neighborhoods go from predominantly Latino and African-American to increasingly white." Greenman's characterization is fairly common - gentrification is typically portrayed as a natural, benign process of people simply moving from one neighborhood to another. Depicted this way, challenges to gentrification seem dyspeptic and naive. However, gentrification does not occur inevitably. It is a systematic process with many moving parts.
As a process, gentrification is typically preceded by disinvestment in predominantly black and brown neighborhoods. A new report by Causa Justa :: Just Cause (CJJC), a Bay Area tenants' rights organization, notes that investment, including real estate development and infrastructure funding, usually follows white populations while shying away from communities of color, according to an In These Times summary. For decades, banks denied financial services, such as loans and credit, to predominantly black and brown neighborhoods - a practice known as redlining. This generated low property values in those communities and deteriorated the neighborhoods. Then the process of displacement begins.
Kalima Rose, a senior director at PolicyLink in Oakland, California, wrote that gentrification occurs "in a series of recognizable stages." The first "involves some significant public or nonprofit redevelopment investment and/or private newcomers buying and rehabbing vacant units" in usually working-class, black and Latino neighborhoods with low property values. Next, "the neighborhood's low housing costs and other amenities become known, and housing costs rise. Displacement begins as landlords take advantage of rising market values and evict long-time residents to rent or sell to the more affluent. Increasingly, newcomers are more likely to be homeowners, and the rising property values cause down payment requirements to increase. With new residents, come commercial amenities that serve higher income levels." Then as "rehabilitation becomes more apparent, prices escalate and displacement occurs in force. New residents have lower tolerance for existing social service facilities that serve homeless populations or other low-income needs, as well as industrial and other uses they view as undesirable. Original residents are displaced along with their industries, commercial enterprises, faith institutions and cultural traditions."
In short, gentrification is trickle-down economics applied to urban development: the idea being that as long as a neighborhood is made suitable for rich and predominantly white people, the benefits will trickle down to everyone else.
Police Crack Down on Poor, Homeless
To make way for this new wave of gentrification, San Francisco police have enforced the city's criminalization efforts against the poor, homeless and working-class people of color. Last September, SFPD shut down a group of chess games, claiming it was a "public nuisance" and "disguise" for drug use and gambling. This is despite it being a 30-year tradition that has helped poor people; while criminal elements often came not because of players themselves, but from surrounding unsavory characters.
Last November, "DJ" Paris Williams, a 21-year-old African-American City College of San Francisco student and bicyclist, was stopped and brutalized by two undercover police officers outside his Valencia Gardens apartment in the Mission District, a historically working-class Latino neighborhood experiencing intense gentrification. The cops' issue with DJ was him riding his bike on the sidewalk near his home since the complex is private property. As he entered his home, the police grabbed DJ from behind and beat him. When three residents came to help DJ, they were beaten up, too. One person, Orlando Rodriguez, had his face smashed to the ground by police and was badly bloodied.
This one incident is part of a larger trend. Bay Area hip-hop journalist Davey D reported, "As more white folks have been moving in, many Black and Brown folks, who long made up the majority of folks living in the Mission, have noted they are frequently being profiled and stopped by police. They are often viewed suspiciously, even though they have lived there for generations. Many feel that they are being made to feel unwelcome in their own neighborhoods, and police harassment is part of a larger process to make it so uncomfortable that folks move out."
Recently, months after DJ's assault, SFPD shot and killed 28-year-old Latino Alejandro "Alex" Nieto in Bernal Heights Park. Nieto was a City College of San Francisco scholarship student and resident of San Francisco's Bernal Heights neighborhood - south of the Mission - with hopes of becoming a youth probation officer. Police mistook Nieto's Taser for a gun. Nieto wore a Taser for his job as a nightclub security guard. SFPD dispatch audio reveals that Nieto was not acting erratically nor fired at officers before he was killed. Community members were outraged at Nieto's killing. They protested and connected his murder to the city's deepening gentrification. Nieto's family is now suing the city, claiming the killing was unjustified.
San Francisco is literally washing away its homeless population
At the corner of 16th and Mission Streets in the Mission District, groups of poor and homeless people, artists, activists, sometimes drug dealers, and other passers-by regularly congregate. In response, a shady campaign called "Clean Up the Plaza" was born. The campaign was announced in June 2013, and San Francisco police began daily patrols in September, leading to increased harassment of homeless people and residents in the area. In October, Maximus Real Estate Partners submitted a proposal to the San Francisco Planning Commission to build a 10-story, 351-unit housing development at the 16th and Mission intersection that would cost around $175 million and replace several businesses in the area. Many community members oppose the plan. "This proposed plan doesn't take into consideration the affordable housing needs this neighborhood has," CJJC organizer Maria Zamudio told El Tecolote.
The 16th and Mission intersection has not always been a safe environment. However, some community members feel threatened not just by local crime, but also by police - Nieto's shooting being one reason for that. A group of activists called Coffee Not Cops, inspired by Books Not Bombs, congregate at the intersection every other Sunday to serve coffee, pastries, literature and talk to people (except police) in the area about the police presence and gentrification. On their flyer, they pose an interesting question, "Let's say crime stops on 16th and Mission. Do we really think it will be Latino families, working class people, and young people of color who will be around to enjoy this supposed lack of crime?"
For a while, almost no one knew who was behind the "Clean Up the Plaza" campaign, and it was rumored to be linked to the planned development. It turns out that link is San Francisco political consultant Jack Davis, who has a long record of working on behalf of real estate interests and whose roommate, Gil Chavez, runs the "Clean Up the Plaza" website. Independent journalist Julia Carrie Wong confirmed that "Davis is also working as a paid consultant for the condo project at 16th and Mission."
Adding insult to injury, San Francisco is literally washing away its homeless population. Last September, the San Francisco Department of Public Works launched a pilot program to keep the streets clean. A DPW spokeswoman told Al Jazeera America, "We wash the streets using disinfectant and steamers as part of our alleys program. We also pick up litter, human waste and other debris." But under this program, street cleaners have sprayed their high-powered hoses at homeless people sleeping on the streets. A hidden camera from the Coalition on Homelessness captured a DPW worker kicking a homeless person and trucks spraying the homeless with their powerful hoses. It is also very common to see homeless people lying on the street in downtown San Francisco, particularly along Market Street near where tech companies like Twitter are located.
Suburbanization of Poverty
Protesters march down Grove Street to San Francisco Association of Realtors to protest developers and realtors for evicting people. (Photo: Adam Hudson)
Often overlooked in stories about tech buses and displacement in San Francisco is how gentrification perpetuates the suburbanization of Bay Area poverty. US Census data shows that, from the years 2007 to 2011, large chunks of San Francisco's middle class moved to Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the East Bay, along with other parts of California and out of state. Macmillan told Truthout that, after being evicted, many Eviction Defense Collaborative clients move to the East Bay area, including "inner and way outside of Contra Costa County." Low- and middle-income residents, many of whom are people of color who can no longer afford to live in San Francisco or Oakland, usually move to outer East Bay area suburbs like Vallejo, Antioch, and Fairfield - or as far as Stockton.
Lines of racial and class inequality lie not just in San Francisco and Oakland but also in working-class suburbs like Antioch, Pittsburg and Vallejo. Some of these cities are low to moderate income and have sizable African-American and Latino populations. Pittsburg, an East Bay industrial town flanking the Sacramento River Delta that connects to the San Francisco Bay, is 17.7 percent black, 42.4 percent Latino, 15.6 percent Asian, has a median household income of $58,063, and its poverty rate is 17.1 percent, according to census data. It is also home to an old coal mine, the steel company USS-POSCO and Dow Chemical. Vallejo is 22.1 percent black, 24.9 percent Asian, and 22.6 percent Latino, has a similar median household income and a 16 percent poverty rate.
In January 2012, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco released a report that analyzed the increasing poverty in Bay Area suburbs. Looking at census data, between 2000 and 2009, poverty increased in both urban and suburban areas. However, poverty rose faster in the suburbs than in urban areas and varied across racial groups. According to the report, "The number of people living in poverty rose 16 percent in the suburbs, compared to 7 percent in urban areas. Blacks and Hispanics saw the greatest percentage growth in suburban poverty, as did the native-born population." African Americans were the "only group to see a decline in the number of poor urban residents. While the number of poor blacks living in urban tracts decreased by 11 percent, the number of poor blacks in the suburbs increased by about 20 percent." San Francisco and Oakland both have declining black populations.
Poverty rose in cities like Pittsburg, Antioch, Concord, Vallejo, the fringe of San Jose and Millbrae. The percentage of poor people living in the suburbs increased among all racial groups, but the highest change was among African Americans. "The share of the poor Black population living in the suburbs increased more than 7 percentage points, whereas the next highest group, Asians, increased 2 percentage points," the report said.
The report notes that several factors contributed to the suburbanization of Bay Area poverty. One is the collapse of the housing bubble in the late 2000s, which particularly hurt Stockton, Antioch and much of East Contra Costa County. In the mid-2000s, the housing boom provided affordable housing in the suburbs. Once it burst, home values dropped, foreclosures skyrocketed, people lost their jobs, and poverty increased.
Some low-income residents moved from the cities to suburbs to escape crime and find better opportunities. But gentrification also factored in suburbanizing poverty. The report notes, "The rising value of properties in the urban core may have led to indirect displacement, as landlords converted rental units to condominiums and Tenancy in Commons (TICs), or raised the rents to the extent allowed by local regulation. Displaced residents may have moved from central cities to more affordable suburban areas."
These Bay Area working-class suburbs provide cheaper housing, some of which is Section 8. However, there are disadvantages to living in these communities. Social services that help low-income people are typically located in urban areas, where much of the poor have long been concentrated, while the suburbs lack them. Thus, poor people in the suburbs have little access to nonprofits and organizations that can help them. Moreover, Bay Area suburbs are no different than other suburbs when it comes to lacking public transportation. Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) goes throughout much of Oakland and San Francisco but barely reaches Pittsburg and doesn't even touch Vallejo. Thus, low-income workers are forced to endure long commutes on the freeway, which leads to greater traffic and pollution.
Taken together, what's going on in San Francisco is deeper than just a fight between well-to-do tech workers and longtime San Francisco residents. San Francisco is microcosm of what's going on in metropolitan areas around the world. From San Francisco to New York City to London, urban areas are being redesigned into playgrounds for the very rich. The poor, working and almost-nonexistent middle-class people who can't afford to live in these rich Elysiums are forced to live farther away, with few resources to support themselves.
By pushing poor and working-class people to the suburbs, gentrification doesn't benefit everyone. Instead, it reconfigures the geographic lines of racial and economic inequality, granting improvements to the lives of the moneyed classes, at the expense of the needs - and sometimes, even the survival - of everyone else.
There are many groups tied to being that 5% to the 1%----we are ending a discussion on toxic disasters and public health by identifying those 5% most guilty of LYING, CHEATING, STEALING, NO MORALS, NO ETHICS, NO US RULE OF LAW, NO GOD'S NATURAL LAW, AND IN TALKING PUBLIC HEALTH----NO HIPPOCRATIC OATH DO NO HARM.
We talk often of how our medical associations have been taken by these global Wall Street OLD WORLD MERCHANTS OF VENICE 1%=====US doctors in high percentages are leaving the medical profession not only because medical doctors are being made CORPORATE COGS-----but because global Wall Street health reforms end HIPPOCRATIC OATH DO NO HARM turning health care into predatory and profit-driven DO GREAT HARM. They are creating that same 1% extreme wealth model in our medical professionals with those 5% to the 1% being simply PLAYERS AND NOT TALENTED MEDICAL LEADERS.
No one knows better than OUR DOCTORS to where any development policy goes as regards public health. Our PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL FRATERNITIES knew San Fran and Silicon Valley would become a toxic waste public health disaster as these same professionals know GLOBAL HEALTH SYSTEMS-----GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY FOR TELEMEDICINE will super-size the public health damage. So, our medical profession is leading the public policy they KNOW will create 99% of citizens harmed by toxic workplace and living environments---by downsized and low-quality health care access policies.
As this article states-----global Wall Street in taking control of our US universities did so especially with our MEDICAL SCHOOLS. These few decades have seen medical schools accepting students they know will be predatory and profit-driven----ergo INNOVATION BIOTECHNOLOGY-----GLOBAL HEALTH SYSTEMS driving CLIMATE CHANGE----US CITIES BECOMING TOXIC DISASTER ZONES.
BAD PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY DOES ENRICH THOSE 5% TO THE 1% MEDICAL CITIZENS!
These medical groups PRETEND to be working for HEALTH CARE FOR ALL---while they are silent on issues needing PROACTIVE ACTIVISM.............
Our medical fraternities as with religious and creative societies have the longest ties to OLD WORLD MERCHANTS OF VENICE and secret societies so they drive this MOVING FORWARD ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE ONE ENERGY GRID ------these 5% see only that global 1% and their 2% as accessing strong developed nation health care----and they know our American sovereignty is being attacked -----far-right authoritarianism and militarism turned on WE THE PEOPLE ----the CLIMATE CHANGE SUSTAINABILITY designed to protect only the global 1%-----LET'S GET RID OF THESE GLOBAL WALL STREET MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS and get back to doctors loving HIPPOCRATIC OATH DO NO HARM caring for all sick and injured.
So, in Baltimore we have global Johns Hopkins Medical School and a state University of Maryland Medical System fast being made global predatory and profit-driven health care as with Johns Hopkins. Those accepted into these medical schools WILL BE those 5% to the 1% willing to take US health care GLOBAL WALL STREET.
Preparing doctors—and in greater numbers—for new technologies and methods
Hofstra North Shore-LIJ Med School’s curriculum starts outside the classroom with EMT training. Here students respond to a simulated auto accident. Photo: Hofstra University
Feb. 16, 2015 11:00 p.m. ET
Critics have long faulted U.S. medical education for being hidebound, imperious and out of touch with modern health-care needs. The core structure of medical school—two years of basic science followed by two years of clinical work—has been in place since 1910.
Now a wave of innovation is sweeping through medical schools, much of it aimed at producing young doctors who are better prepared to meet the demands of the nation’s changing health-care system.
At the new Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine in Hempstead, N.Y, students spend their first eight weeks not in lecture classes but becoming certified emergency medical technicians, learning split-second lifesaving skills on 911 calls.
At Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pa., first-year students work as “patient navigators,” helping the ill, injured and their families traverse the often-confusing medical system and experiencing it from their perspective.
At New York University School of Medicine, one required course delves into a database that tracks every hospital admission and charge in the state. Discussions center on why, say, the average tab for delivering a baby is $3,000 in a rural area and $22,000 in New York City.
“This isn’t a textbook exercise. This is real life and students love it,” says Marc Triola, NYU’s associate dean for educational informatics.
Medical educators say such innovations are long overdue. The U.S. health-care system is rapidly becoming ever more data-driven, evidence-based, patient-centered and value-oriented. But for reasons having to do with tradition, accreditation concerns and preparing students for national board exams, the designers of medical-school curricula have been slow to shift their focus.
“The reality is that most medical schools are teaching the same way they did one hundred years ago,” says Wyatt Decker, chief executive of the Mayo Clinic’s operations in Arizona, which include a medical school in Scottsdale, Ariz., that is scheduled to enroll its first class in 2017. “It’s time to blow up that model and ask, ‘How do we want to train tomorrow’s doctors?’ ”
Doctors today are well schooled in the science of medicine, says Susan Skochelak, the American Medical Association’s vice president for medical education. “What’s been missing is the science of health-care delivery. How do you manage chronic disease? How do you focus on prevention and wellness? How do you work in a team?”
To encourage med schools to move their curricula in that direction, an AMA initiative called Accelerating Change in Medical Education is giving $1 million to each of 11 schools to help fund novel programs. Of the nation’s 141 medical schools, 118 competed for the 11 grants.
The push for change comes at a time when medical educators are also trying to address a critical shortage of physicians. No new med schools opened in the U.S. from 1985 to 2000, amid fears of a doctor glut. More recently, however, predictions of a shortfall of 90,000 physicians by 2020 have sparked a building boom: Some 17 new schools have been accredited since 2002 and nine more have applied for accreditation.
A few of the new schools have made it their mission to address acute shortages of primary-care physicians in certain areas. Texas Tech University’s Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, which opened in El Paso in 2009, emphasizes community medicine and Spanish-language skills. The University of Kansas School of Medicine’s new branch in Salina takes just eight students a year—all with a strong desire to practice medicine in rural areas.
Med schools old and new are looking for a broader range of qualities in applicants—particularly students who are empathetic and have experience relating to diverse kinds of people.
New MCATTo that end, in April, a new MCAT—the Medical College Admission Test—will be administered, the test’s first major revision since 1991. The new version is 2 hours longer (6 hours and 30 minutes) and tests knowledge of behavioral and social sciences as well as biology, physics and chemistry. One sample question has applicants read a passage, then asks which of four statements “is most consistent with the sociological paradigm of symbolic interactionism?”
Some schools have replaced the traditional one-on-one interview with a series of simulations in which applicants are asked to show how they would make a tough judgment call or deliver bad news. At the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, community residents join faculty members in rating the applicants, providing a broader range of views.
Styles of teaching and learning are also changing.
“We’ve replaced ‘the sage on the stage’ with ‘the guide on the side,’ ” says Richard Zimmerman, a neurosurgeon and medical director for education for the new Mayo med school in Scottsdale.
At both the new school and Mayo’s existing medical school in Rochester, Minn., much of the material traditionally taught in lecture classes will be converted to electronic formats that students can absorb on their own, leaving class time for discussions and case studies.
Mayo also is creating a new course of study, called the Science of Health Care Delivery, which will run through all four years and include health-care economics, biomedical informatics and systems engineering. With a few additional credits, students can graduate with both an M.D. and a master’s in health-care delivery from Arizona State University.
In a course called Checkbook, Mayo students will track all of the services provided to their assigned patients during clinical rotations and look for redundancies or routine tests that add little value.
Focus on Teams
Learning to work in teams is a main focus at Mayo—and a sharp departure from traditional training for doctors.
“The old model was, you’d go on rounds; the attending would ask a question, and the young resident had to get the right answer,” says Dr. Decker in Scottsdale. “In the new model, you’re part of a team, and somebody else might have the right answer.”
To understand the roles of team members who aren’t doctors, first-year Mayo students spend half-days shadowing clinic schedulers, registered nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. They also assist in managing a panel of patients, as care coordinators do. For example, they review records to see which diabetes patients aren’t managing their health well; they call the patients on the phone to discuss why they are struggling; then the students consult with the patients’ primary-care doctors to determine the next steps.
In another departure from med schools past, Mayo is making an organized effort to help students avoid burnout. Classes in the first two years are pass/fail, not graded, and students can evaluate their level of stress, fatigue and risk of suicide in a confidential Med Student Well Being Index, which also offers resources for help.
“When I went to med school 30 years ago, I don’t remember anybody asking how we were doing,” says Michele Halyard, vice dean of Mayo’s medical-school programs. “But you can’t heal the health-care system if you’re sick yourself.”
What’s being left out of medical education to make room for the new material?
Some schools are placing far less emphasis on memorizing facts, such as which drugs do what and how they interact with other drugs. Such information is now readily available electronically.
“The fund of medical knowledge is now growing and changing too fast for humans to keep up with, and the facts you memorize today might not be relevant five years from now,” says NYU’s Dr. Triola. Instead, what’s important is teaching “information-seeking behavior,” he says, such as what sources to trust and how to avoid information overload.
Technology is also changing how med students learn. Simulators that look like patients and can be programmed to go into cardiac arrest, have strokes, spike fevers, cry, vomit and eliminate are particularly useful for teaching.
“Some schools don’t use cadavers anymore,” says the AMA’s Dr. Skochelak. “But others think it’s an important way to learn respect” for the real human body. “They tell students, ‘This is your first patient.’ ”
Some schools are condensing the typical four-year curriculum into three years, to let students start their residencies sooner and graduate with less debt. The Association of American Medical Colleges is also studying ways to let students master needed skills and competencies at their own pace—an innovation that has come to medical residency programs as well.
“We should have done this 10 years ago,” Dr. Decker says of the many med school changes. Then he quotes a Chinese proverb: “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The next best time is tomorrow.”
These are the FAKE global Wall Street 'labor and justice' organizations now shouting that AFFORDABLE CARE ACT WAS GREAT-----NOW SHOUTING THIS SINGLE PAYER IS GREAT.----knowing this California---and indeed being installed across the nation---is NOT LEFT IMPROVED AND EXPANDED MEDICARE FOR ALL-----it is far-right wing ONE WORLD ONE PREVENTATIVE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL ----third world health access for 99% of Americans.
These 5% to the 1% PRETENDING this is the original FDR New Deal ------War on Poverty MEDICARE AND MEDICAID ----are openly lying. It will take US health care for 99% of US citizens down to the same WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION UNITED NATIONS health care for global labor pool.
Who is cheering this on in CA-----while national media allowed this SINGLE PAYER be sold as MEDICARE FOR ALL when there is no intent to fund these programs and global health systems in California being the most advanced in MOVING FORWARD TO PREDATORY AND PROFIT-DRIVEN HEALTH CARE.
We have CALIFORNIA leading in public health disasters these few decades of CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA---yes, our southern states did as well but they never had good public health care ----CA again had the best in the world public health system as with public education system and was #1 in the world in environmental policies.
Our Latino and Asian immigrants are being led to believe they are accessing American quality health care with SINGLE-PAYER when it is taking that US quality health care down to that global labor pool health access they have had these few decades of FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE HUMAN CAPITAL DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM.
As California global Wall Street Clinton neo-liberals are installing ONE WORLD ONE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION PREVENTATIVE CARE FOR ALL 99% in US------Gabbard's Hawaii ----raging global Wall Street and ONE WORLD ONE WAGE----is installing BASIC INCOME-----both far-right wing global Wall Street policies to kill WE THE PEOPLE----THE 99%.
THAT IS WHY IT MATTERS THAT CALIFORNIA HAS BEEN TAKEN BY GLOBAL WALL STREET CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS TO LEADING IN THE WORST OF SOCIAL POLICY----IN THIS CASE PUBLIC HEALTH.
June 1, 2017, 5:17 p.m.
Reporting from Sacramento
Single-payer healthcare plan advances in California Senate — without a way to pay its $400-billion tab
Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)A proposal to adopt a single-payer healthcare system for California took an initial step forward Thursday when the state Senate approved a bare-bones bill that lacks a method for paying the $400-billion cost of the plan.
The proposal was made by legislators led by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) at the same time President Trump and Republican members of Congress are working to repeal and replace the federal Affordable Care Act.
“Despite the incredible progress California has made, millions still do not have access to health insurance and millions more cannot afford the high deductibles and co-pays, and they often forgo care,” Lara said during a floor debate on the bill.
The bill, which now goes to the state Assembly for consideration, will have to be further developed, Lara conceded, adding he hopes to reach a consensus on a way to pay for it.
Republican senators opposed the bill as a threat to the state’s finances.
“We don’t have the money to pay for it,” Sen. Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto) said. “If we cut every single program and expense from the state budget and redirected that money to this bill, SB 562, we wouldn’t even cover half of the $400-billion price tag.”
Berryhill also said the private sector is better suited to provide healthcare.
“I absolutely don’t trust the government to run our health system,” he said. “What has the government ever done right?”
Lara’s bill would provide a Medicare-for-all-type system that he believed would guarantee health coverage for all Californians without the out-of-pocket costs. Under a single-payer plan, the government replaces private insurance companies, paying doctors and hospitals for healthcare.
The California Nurses Assn., which sponsored the bill, released a fiscal analysis this week that proposed raising the state sales and business receipts taxes by 2.3% to raise $106 billion of the annual cost, with the rest proposed to come from state and federal funding already going to Medicare and Medicaid services.
Sen. Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado Hills) called the plan “reckless” and said the taxes would hurt businesses and families while financially crippling the state government.
“It’s offensive to the people who have to pay for it,” he said.
Some Democrats felt the bill was rushed and undeveloped. Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) withheld his vote on the bill on grounds it does not provide enough detail of what a single-payer system would look like.
“This is the Senate kicking the can down the road to the Assembly and asking the Assembly to fill in all of the blanks,” Hueso said. “That’s not going to happen this year.”
Lara said action is required because of what is happening in Washington.
“With President Trump’s promise to abandon the Affordable Care Act as we know it — for one that leaves millions without access to care — California is once again tasked to lead," he told his colleagues.
He said his father recently had heart bypass surgery but went through the emergency room for help after his insurance company initially turned him down.
Even if the bill is approved, it has to go to Gov. Jerry Brown, who has been skeptical, and then voters would have to exempt it from spending limits and budget formulas in the state Constitution. In addition, the state would have to get federal approval to repurpose existing funds for Medicare and Medicaid.
As a 99% white female citizen----I KNOW this is far-right wing global Wall Street development policies not left social progressive-----I KNOW it is not civil rights----it is not fighting housing injustice----IT IS DOING THE SAME THING CLINTON ERA did in Silicon Valley ----it is expanding this Silicon Valley model to all US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES to prepare for toxic INDUSTRIALIZATION ON GLOBAL SCALE.
My population group will be harmed most----women are always on the bottom of far-right, authoritarian, global Wall Street corporate policies and with them go our family and children. Watching a global 1% and their 2% of women PRETENDING to care about 99% of women DOES NOT FOOL ME.
It is that dastardly 1% of WHITE MEN being global Wall Street that drives these policies so MY 5% WHITE MEN are very, very, very bad and need to go. As a WHITE CITIZEN I know those 5% to the 1% white men are PLAYERS.
The white 99% of citizens cannot keep those dastardly white 1% men at bay----we must have 99% of black and brown citizens working to get rid of their 5% PLAYERS----
LET'S COME TOGETHER AS A 99% VS 1%------WHITE, BLACK, BROWN----MALE/FEMALE------JEWISH, PROTESTANT, MUSLIM, CATHOLIC, HINDI-----THOSE OLD WORLD MERCHANTS OF VENICE ARE NOT RELIGIOUS.
While my white 5% to the 1% Maryland State Attorney General FROSH who should be protecting WE THE PEOPLE against global monopoly----global toxic threats to our public health-----protecting equal opportunity housing and environmental injustice-------HE IS SIMPLY THAT 5% CLINTON/WALL STREET PLAYER----just as this NAACP CIVIL RIGHTS lawyer ----fake civil rights----as far-right legal teams capture our left social law organizations like ACLU---NAACP----NOW-----
NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF WOMEN AND OUR STATE WOMEN BRANCHES PUSHED HILLARY AND TOLD THE 99% THAT NOT TO SUPPORT HILLARY WAS ANTI-FEMINIST---as we said earlier----it was those Hillary Clinton neo-liberal global 1% women giving us SILICON VALLEY injustice all the way around-----so 99% of women need to shake it up with our women's organizations-----get rid of those 5% to the 1% global Wall Street players!
-------Jun 30 1966
National Organization for Women (NOW) is Founded
"Sex discrimination" was added to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
Obama administration to unveil major new rules targeting segregation across U.S.Administration calls move "historic," while conservatives decry it as "social engineering"
By Emily Badger July 8, 2015
Cabrini-Green public housing project, which has been mostly demolished and redeveloped, is seen against the Chicago Skyline in May 1996. (AP Photo/Beth A. Keiser)
CHICAGO -- When the Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968, it barred the outright racial discrimination that was then routine. It also required the government to go one step further — to actively dismantle segregation and foster integration in its place — a mandate that for decades has been largely forgotten, neglected and unenforced. Now, on Wednesday, the Obama administration will announce long-awaited rules designed to repair the law’s unfulfilled promise and promote the kind of racially integrated neighborhoods that have long eluded deeply segregated cities like Chicago and Baltimore. The new rules, a top demand of civil-rights groups, will require cities and towns all over the country to scrutinize their housing patterns for racial bias and to publicly report, every three to five years, the results. Communities will also have to set goals, which will be tracked over time, for how they will further reduce segregation.
“This is the most serious effort that HUD has ever undertaken to do that,” says Julian Castro, the secretary of the department of Housing and Urban Development, who will announce the new rules in Chicago on Wednesday. “I believe that it’s historic.”
Officials insist that they want to work with and not punish communities where segregation exists. But the new reports will make it harder to conceal when communities consistently flout the law. And in the most flagrant cases, HUD holds out the possibility of withholding a portion of the billions of dollars of federal funding it hands out each year.
The prospect of the new rules, which will also cover housing patterns that exclude other groups like the disabled, has already spurred intense debate. Civil rights groups pushed for even tougher rules but say HUD’s plans represent an important advancement on what’s been one of the most fraught frontiers of racial progress.
“Housing discrimination is the unfinished business of civil rights,” says Sherrilyn Ifill, the president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. “It goes right to the heart of our divide from one another. It goes right to the heart of whether you believe that African American people’s lives matter, that you respect them, that you believe they can be your neighbors, that you want them to play with your children.”
But conservatives have sounded alarm. Republicans in the House of Representatives, worried by what they see as government intrusion into local planning, have already tried to defund implementation of the rule. Conservative commentators say it represents an experiment in “social engineering” in which the federal government will force white suburbs to change their racial makeup.
“Let local communities do what’s best in their communities, and I would predict we’d end up with a freer and fairer society in 20 years than we have today,” says Rick Manning, the president of Americans for Limited Government. “Far freer and fairer than anything that would be dictated from Washington.”
The centerpiece of the new rule is a vast trove of geographic data covering every community in the country — its racial makeup, its poverty rate, its concentration of housing vouchers and public housing, as well as the quality of its schools and its public transit. Nearly all of this data, already gathered by the government, comes from publicly available sources like the Census. But HUD hopes the database will enable communities to more clearly track where poverty and segregation overlap, where housing voucher recipients live relative to good schools, which neighborhoods contain no affordable housing at all.
The premise of the rule is that all of this mapped data will make hidden barriers visible — and that once communities see them, they will be much harder to ignore.
The administration’s announcement comes less than two weeks after the Supreme Court reaffirmed the power of the Fair Housing Act to ban housing policies that harm minorities. After a years-long delay, it is also arriving during a rare civil-rights moment, as the nation returns to familiar questions from the 1960s about the underlying causes of racial unrest in American cities.
“There is no question in my mind that part of the issue with Baltimore or Ferguson is about the relationship between the community and the police, but it’s much deeper than that,” Castro says. “It’s also fundamentally about people having opportunity in their lives. And where you live, in many ways, dictates the level of opportunity that you have.”
“That is social engineering"
American Civil Rights and religious leader Dr Martin Luther King Jr (1929 - 1968) gestures emphatically during a speech at a Chicago Freedom Movement rally in Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois, July 10, 1966. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)Martin Luther King Jr. chose Chicago when, in 1966, he launched a campaign for “open housing” in northern cities where blacks had been restricted to slums. On Chicago’s South Side, their neighborhoods had been “redlined” by banks that refused to lend to black homebuyers. Restrictive covenants outside the ghetto barred blacks from moving in.
Real estate agents buttressed these patterns. The city’s housing authority concentrated public housing projects within these same neighborhoods, too. The Federal Housing Administration, which heavily subsidized the migration of whites to the suburbs, had historically blocked blacks from living there, too.
“The most profound form of social engineering was the creation and maintenance of segregated suburbs,” says Craig Gurian, a civil rights lawyer and the executive director of the Anti-Discrimination Center. “That is social engineering.”
Opposing views of HUD’s new rule are fundamentally about different interpretations of this history. Critics argue that the kind of overt discrimination that existed in 1968 seldom exists today. Civil rights groups counter that past discrimination lives on in housing patterns that America has never addressed.
“Fifty years ago that was really a great argument,” Manning says. “Thirty years ago it might have been somewhat substantive. But 1968 was a long time ago.”
Civil-rights groups say that fair housing is about removing the constraints on the housing market — such as zoning laws that bar apartment construction in the suburbs and formulas that ensure affordable housing is built primarily in poor neighborhoods — so that lower-income and minority families will have more options. Conservatives see the rule, instead, as government intrusion into a market that is already open.
In Chicago and many cities, the racial lines drawn by history are largely the same ones that exist today. Black-white segregation in metropolitan Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee and New York has budged only modestly in 40 years. Within the city of Chicago, white flight has meant that many once-white neighborhoods have become predominantly black. But over half a century starting in 1960, Harvard sociologist Robert J. Sampson identified just one neighborhood in the entire city that transitioned in the other direction.
These patterns have persisted in spite of the Fair Housing Act in large part because of the failure of the law’s proactive mandate to "affirmatively further" fair housing.
“You don’t undo that,” Ifill, of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, says of all this history, “just by stopping people from engaging in discrimination.”
George Romney, Mitt Romney’s father and the secretary of HUD from 1969 to 1973, tried to withhold HUD funding from local communities that fought desegregation. His efforts, swiftly blocked by the Nixon administration, are remembered today by civil-rights advocates as the fleeting moment when the federal government was most committed to integration.
HUD has never aggressively enforced the language, although it has pursued some complaints against communities for defying that part of the law. Westchester County, New York, has been mired for years in a legal battle with HUD, thanks to a lawsuit claiming that the county misled the government by accepting HUD funding without affirmatively furthering fair housing.
The county agreed in a 2009 settlement to build 750 new affordable housing units, primarily in communities with few minorities. The settlement also required the county to adopt a law banning landlords from discriminating against subsidized tenants. As some of those benchmarks went unmet, HUD began to withhold money from Westchester. The county has since decided not to pursue any more block-grant funds, an option critics of the new rule warn many communities will choose.
“It’s not worth it because of the threat of lawsuits, the strings attached, and the control that Washington can then exert over you,” says Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “You get involved with the federal government, and you can’t get out of bed with them.”
New rules aim to repair the fair housing law’s unfulfilled promise and promote racially integrated neighborhoods.
Here in Chicago on a recent morning, 17 women sat in a classroom learning how to wield their housing vouchers to bring up their babies in better neighborhoods.
The non-profit Housing Choice Partners handed out a pair of maps on thick paper stock that the women might carry across town as they search for a new home. One illustrated, in green, the “opportunity areas” in the city. The other showed Chicago color-coded by crime.
“The darker the orange, the higher the crime. We’re keeping it really simple,” said Shinnette Johnson, an education coordinator leading a recent orientation.
Most of the women live in the dark areas on the south and west sides, where high crime is also accompanied by poor schools, deep poverty and racial segregation.
“If you look at State Street, there’s nothing on the State Street corridor for you to grow and prosper,” Johnson said, describing a stretch of Chicago’s historic “black belt” on the South Side. “It’s not even a store from 22nd to 55th.”
“Nope!” several women replied in chorus.
“There’s one store! On 55th at State. And what is it?”
“A liquor store,” one voice offered.
“A liquor store! That’s not a place I want to send my kids. And all the way down to 22nd, what’s there?”
A mother in the second row shook her head. ”There’s no grocery stores. There’s no clothing stores. There’s nothing.”
Chicago, for decades, has remained one of the most segregated metropolitan areas in the country — black separated from white, poor isolated from wealthy, families who need housing aid living far from the schools they’d choose for their children.
The seven-county metropolitan area recently produced a 133-page assessment as part of another HUD grant program that helped serve as a model for the new rule. Many local municipalities initially weighed in that they had achieved equal housing. The final report, though, bluntly concludes that concentrations of race and poverty in the region have remained “largely unchanged” for decades. And it includes two stark population maps: one showing the racial makeup of the region in 1980, and again in 2010.
“If you show those two maps next to each other, you can’t possibly look at that and say that we’re getting better, that we’ve solved this problem or that this is no longer an issue in the metropolitan area,” says Bob Dean, the deputy executive director for local planning with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning that worked on the report.
On the ground in Chicago, Housing Choice Partners also leads a tour every week to some of those “opportunity areas” in the city. Families pile into a 16-seat rental van. And they leave the South Side — not far from that State Street corridor — for neighborhoods where the child poverty rate is low and the life expectancy high.
The van passes by public libraries and grocery stores, well-tended parks and neighborhood schools. Occasionally, it pulls up to an apartment with an empty unit where everyone can pile out and picture life in a different kitchen, far across town.
Despite all this effort, it’s likely only a third of the women in the orientation class will move to a new home in one of the opportunity areas. In a good year, that’s the organization’s success rate. “There are so many barriers,” says executive director Christine Klepper. “Sometimes I wonder how we get any moves.”
The units are too expensive. Or voucher holders have to compete with market-rate tenants who don’t entail the same paperwork load. Or landlords reject them because of their vouchers, even though that’s illegal in Chicago. Or families can’t find the right-sized home in the 90-day window the housing authority gives them, or the right-sized home turns out to be in a place where you’d need a car.
Or, more often, there just isn’t much affordable housing in good neighborhoods, because the nicest places to live are often the most effective at keeping out new development, whether in the city or the suburbs.
“If you think about it, we’ve only had a fair housing law for 50 years,” Klepper says. “And we’ve had 300 years of slavery, Jim Crow, incarcerating black men, discrimination. To me, it’s not surprising that things have not changed much over time. It’s because we really haven’t tried.”
We will end our discussion about hazardous/toxic/nuclear disasters and public health by looking at the FAKE GREEN CORPORATION policies this time the RECYCLED PRODUCT industry. First, let's remember, the articles from Silicon Valley highlighting the degree of toxic waste---the soaring cancer vectors-----was followed by that news agency stating very firmly---BUT SILICON VALLEY REGION'S FRESH WATER SUPPLY IS NOT COMPROMISED. OH, REALLY???? If the tech industry toxic waste didn't get the water supply the fracking like heck has. Where does irrigation water used for all that CA agriculture come? The city public water system---watch as soon we will hear Sacramento, Oakland maybe San Fran will be the next DETROIT.
Global Wall Street is moving global corporate campuses and global factories out of Asia because Foreign Economic Zone agreements in those nations came with a time window AND because these zones became too toxic for human capital to live and work. This is why we have seen these several years of Obama the movement of Foreign Economic Zones to Eastern Europe and Africa-------MOVING FORWARD in the US. We showed Eastern Europe being used as a toxic waste dump for Western Europe and those global factories -----below we see African Foreign Economic Zone in GHANA turning into what were the images in China and other Asian nations. The policies around RECYCLING TECHNOLOGY is as hazardous or more so than the actual manufacturing of these products. Because this side of the industry is driven by even smaller profit-margins it is left for the most desperate of citizens risking life and health for a way to earn money. This has already moved to US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones out west---coming to East Coast cities like Baltimore.
WE COULD HAVE A WELL REGULATED, MANAGED SYSTEM OF RECYCLING WITH OVERSIGHT, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND PUBLIC HEALTH FOR WORKERS----BUT GLOBAL WALL STREET CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA MAXIMIZES PROFITS BY EXPOSING WORKERS TO THE MAX.
Where your computer goes to die: Shocking pictures of the toxic 'electronic graveyards' in Africa where the West dumps its old PCs, laptops, microwaves, fridges and phones
By Jay Akbar For Mailonline
Published: 05:33 EDT, 23 April 2015 | Updated: 13:01 EDT, 23 April 2015
Harrowing images reveal one of west-Africa's vast electronic graveyards where 'millions of tonnes' of discarded appliances from all over the world - including the UK - are being dumped every year.
Thousands of broken televisions, computers, microwaves and refrigerators are being illegally exported to African countries and dumped gigantic landfills like Agbogbloshie in Ghana because it costs less than recycling them in their countries of origin, campaigners claim.
41 million tonnes of 'e-waste' worth over £34billion were discarded globally in 2014, according to a shocking report by United Nations University who claim only 6 million tonnes of that was recycled properly.
Scroll down for video
Polluted: 'Millions of tonnes' of the world's e-waste ends up in Africa where it is dumped in landfills like Agbogbloshie (pictured) in Ghana's capital Accra
Damaging: The mountains of 'e-waste' that builds up in landfill sites such as Agbogbloshie (pictured) pollutes the local water and harms the health of the scavengers whose livelihoods depend on these broken goods
Broken: Defunct televisions, computers and keyboards (pictured) are transported to west-African countries like Ghana because 'it is cheaper than recycling it properly in European Union nations'
Relic: The whole of the African continent produced only 1.9 metric tonnes of waste and yet 'millions of tonnes' of broken products (pictured) end up there
Dangerous: Young men sift through the mountains of scraps in landfills like Agbogbloshie (pictured), hoping to find something worth selling in local markets
Defunct: Shipping broken or unusable equipment (pictured) to Africa is illegal under the Basel convention, according to the Head of United Nations University (UNU)
Pollution: Brokers manage to ship containers of illegal e-waste (pictured) to the continent by fraudulently categorising it as 'reusable'
Toxic: Old fridges (pictured) that now reside in filthy landfill sites such as Agbogbloshie contain chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which damage the ozone layer
The UK contributed 1.5 million tonnes of waste to the staggering 11.6 Europe generated last year - putting it behind only Germany as the continent's greatest contributor.
That dwarfs the 1.9 million tonnes produced by the whole of Africa and yet the continent's western nations have become a dumping ground for the world's defunct products.
Some of the appliances even leak toxic elements such as lead and mercury which harms the environment and the young men who trawl through the broken goods hoping to find something worth selling.
The shocking images taken by e-waste campaigners QAMP reveal how countless household appliances have contaminated what was once the 'pastoral landscape' of Agbogbloshie in Accra.
'Developed countries export millions of tonnes of electronic waste annually into developing countries such as Ghana,' the group based in the country claims on its website.
Photographs show young boys trawling through the western world's scraps, dismantling old stereos and burning components to recover scrap metal - which they will sell for small amounts of money.
Transporting broken or expired electronics to Africa is illegal but brokers exploit a loophole by fraudulently labelling the items as reusable, according to the Head of United Nations University who believes Africa is becoming 'a graveyard for e-waste'.
When massive containers arrive in Ghana and Nigeria, they are trucked to remote locations where the locals can buy the products directly without testing them to later sell in markets, Dr Ruediger Kuehr told MailOnline
He believes legal shipments can help close the digital divide between Africa and the west but said: 'If it turns out that this equipment arriving in Africa is no longer of use, there is no longer a market existing or that they are getting real waste… then we are having a real issue.'
Clinton era 1990s started the pipeline to prison AND it started privatized prison corporations. CA, TX, et al ground zero for Foreign Economic Zone installation at that time brought not only hazardous waste, toxic chemicals tied to technology and GREEN ENERGY products----but of course all that nuclear waste recycled to bomb-making. This is what floating solar platforms----batteries for vehicles and ONE GRID-----expanding APPS ON SMART PHONES create.
THE TECHNOLOGY RECYCLING INDUSTRY-----GLOBAL GREEN CORPORATION HARMS AS MUCH AND MORE OF OUR ENVIRONMENT AND WORKERS/CITIZENS' PUBLIC HEALTH.
Again, all of this used to occur overseas ====these few decades and especially these several years expanding across US.
When we shout against this super-sized global technology industry being created by global online education and global online health care with telemedicine----this is what we are talking about as regards to how much a disaster these ONE WORLD ONE GRID TECHNOLOGY will be for WE THE PEOPLE THE 99%. The amount of technology infrastructure being built under Obama is staggering. Obama calls for GREEN JOBS----well, below we see what will be a major industry in a decade or two and it will not only be our prisoners----our disabled------our vocationally-tracked K-career children sent to apprenticeships after 6th grade---after 8th grade----
As this article states the communities around these kinds of facilities suffer as well-----it is one main source of toxic waste dumps and Maryland and Baltimore pols just several years ago passed laws allowing prison labor for just this.
Here we see the early tech industry Foreign Economic Zones in TX---CA---OH being ground zero coming soon to all US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones. This is a long article we posted only the first part. We want to warn again how groups POSE LEFT ENVIRONMENTAL when they are far-right neo-liberal. We see this article call UNICOR a GOVERNMENT SWEAT SHOP. When our US or state prisons are outsourced to private prison operations these are no longer GOVERNMENT PRISONS----they are privatized corporate entities. Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition may be good left environment but please watch for posers--they always focus on policies TOO LATE TO ADDRESS PROACTIVELY.
How UNICOR Prison Recycling Harms Workers,
Communities, the Environment, and the
In the past few years, the storm of com-
plaints about UNICOR’s recycling pro-
gram from prisoners, prison guards, and
others has brought these hidden sweat-
shops into public view. Since 1994, UNI-
COR has built a lucrative business that
employs prisoners to recycle electronic
waste (e-waste). A massive array of e-
waste is largely hidden from view, as are
the workers who handle the waste. Over
100,000 computers become obsolete in
the U.S. every day.
And that’s only the computers. E-waste includes computers,
personal digital assistants, TVs, and other
electronic devices. E-waste is a double-edged sword: it is rich in precious materials that can be recycled, but it also contains a cocktail of hazardous chemicals such as lead, mercury, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and cadmium.
This report examines the e-waste recycling programs run by Federal Prison
Industries (FPI), a government-owned corporation that does business under the
trade name UNICOR. Founded in 1934 as a work program to keep prisoners occupied, FPI has become a large government contractor, generating over $765 million in sales in 2005. UNICOR’s connections gave it access to lucrative government contracts and easily made it a force in the
e-waste recycling industry. As journalist Elizabeth Grossman states, “With revenue of ten million dollars in 2004, seven locations ... and roughly one thousand inmate employees who in 2004 processed nearly 44 million pounds of electronic equipment, UNICOR is one of the country’s largest electronics recyclers, and its prices are tough to beat.”
Unfortunately, UNICOR’s low prices come at the expense of its captive labor force.
Some types of discarded electronics are considered hazardous waste by the EPA and other regulatory agencies, researchers, industries, and advocates across the globe. As states become aware that these hazards may leach into and contaminate soil and groundwater, more are banning televisions, monitors, and sometimes other electronics from landfills.
Quoted in sidebars throughout this report, you will hear directly from prisoners, the frontline workers recycling e-waste for UNICOR. The conditions prisoners describe are dire. UNICOR’s captive laborers work in conditions similar to
those in sweatshops across the world. Prisoners have few of the labor rights and protections other U.S. workers enjoy. Prisoners are excluded from the Fair
Labor Standards Act and insufficiently protected by regulatory agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which cannot conduct
surprise inspections. The quotations presented in this report are drawn from letters and affidavits received by Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition. Identifying characteristics have been stripped due to reports of firings and retaliation against prisoners. While this report is grounded in prisoners’ experiences, you also will meet responsible recyclers, contractors, and prison staff who recognize the problems of exploitation in e-waste.
Government hearings and investigations confirm that serious problems exist. As U.S. Special Counsel Scott Bloch stated:
Federal employees and prisoners inhaling poisons due to the neglect
of their superiors, and federal agencies whitewashing the investigation. It sounds like a Hollywood dramatization like Shawshank Redemption, or a John Grisham novel with wild conspiracy theories. In this case, however, workers
and inmates were exposed to hazardous materials without protection... and the Bureau of Prisons and Federal Prison Industries did nothing to stop it, and indeed frustrated attempts to investigate the matter... Now some people might
say, prisoners getting poisoned?
What’s the big deal? Who cares?
This report’s principal findings are outlined below.
UNICOR has failed to adequately protect prisoners and staff
from exposure to toxics. When dismantling electronics, prisoners
handling toxic components need ventilation, proper tools, and adequate protective gear, as do prison staff working in the area. UNICOR facilities repeatedly failed to provide proper recycling procedures to
captive laborers and staff supervisors. UNICOR’s policy of measured modernization— limiting automation in order to maximize the number of prisoners who work—increases the risk of workplace injuries to prisoners and guards. The adverse health effects of long-term exposure to the toxic materials in e-waste are costs that families and/or public health services will bear— not UNICOR.
UNICOR has failed to protect communities from hazardous materials.
Poor workplace safety practices affect communities as well. Leroy Smith, a prison health and safety manager, has expressed concerns about prison guards who go home to their families with dust on their clothes. Smith’s attorney Mary Dryovage and Jeff Ruch, director of Public Employees for
Environmental Responsibility, have noted that Smith’s claims “were not
fully investigated,” including charges that UNICOR disposed of “hazardous metals” and “contaminated mopheads...at county land-fills” and that “mop water would be disposed down sewage drains, which would be released into the
city waste water treatment plant.”
Concern about the community health and safety effects of prisons is in keeping with the findings of the recently concluded national, bi-partisan Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons, which open, “What happens inside jails
and prisons does not stay inside jails and prisons. It comes home with prisoners when they are released and with corrections officers at the end of each day’s shift ....
It influences the safety, health, and prosperity of us all.”
UNICOR undercuts responsible recycling businesses. Not all electronics recyclers are the same. Much of what passes as “electronics recycling” is exporting harm — dumping e-waste on poor communities in China, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, and other countries.
However, a growing segment of the U.S. electronics recycling industry is tak-
ing concrete steps to educate and to protect workers, communities, and the environment. These recyclers are being undermined by UNICOR’s government
sweatshop model. UNICOR’s low wages, limited worker protections, and use of
outdated equipment allow UNICOR to underbid conscientious commercial recy-
cling operations. In the past few years, a barrage of complaints about UNICOR’s recycling program from prisoners and prison guards has forced the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to investigate workplace conditions. BOP admitted in a 2005 report that prisoners and staff in at least three UNICOR
Recycling factories—Elkton, Ohio;
Texarkana, Texas; and Atwater,
California—were exposed to toxics.
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel later declared BOP’s inquiry “cursory at best” and recommended an independent investigation.
In September 2006, Special Counsel Scott Bloch named BOP employee Leroy Smith Public Servant of the Year for blowing the whistle on UNICOR’s failure to protect workers. Smith served as a health and safety manager at the Atwater federal prison. In his prepared comments for the award ceremony, Smith contended that conditions at UNICOR Recycling have not been remedied:
I receive calls from my colleagues working in computer recycling operations at other correctional institutions who describe coming home coated in dust. They had been assured that there was no danger. Now, many have health problems and others are scared about what lies in store for them.... [B]oth staff and inmates do not know what they have been exposed to or in what quantities. I am at a loss as to what to tell them. I do not know what resources are available to them or who will be able to answer their questions.
Despite media coverage of problems with UNICOR Recycling, prisoners and
impacted communities continue to face major barriers in pursuing their rights to
be free of exposure to toxics. In recent years, some of UNICOR’s larger clients,
including Dell Inc. and the state of California, have pulled their contracts due to public pressure. Additionally, recyclers have successfully challenged UNICOR’s
effort to compete for EPA recycling contracts set aside for small businesses.
By publishing this report, the Center for Environmental Health, Silicon Valley
Toxics Coalition, Prison Activist Resource Center, and the Computer TakeBack
Campaign aim to uncover and stop the environmental health abuse and exploitation of workers in prisons; expose UNICOR as an unacceptable choice for electronics recycling; and educate institutions, corporations, and individuals seeking responsible electronics recycling options that promote high labor, environmental, and human rights standards.
A new form of electronic waste (e-waste) recycling has emerged in the U.S.: the
prison recycling program. These government sweatshops are competing successfully with the dismally low wages and dire working conditions found in poor communities in countries such as China, India, the Philippines, and Nigeria.
Prison recycling programs—specifically those run by Federal Prison Industries
(FPI, or UNICOR)—externalize many operational costs onto taxpayers and place most of the risks onto the expanding pool of captive prison labor, overwhelmingly poor people of color. UNICOR’s prison recycling program creates environmental injustices, violates prisoners’ rights, and
undermines responsible commercial e-waste recycling businesses.
E-waste includes computers, TVs, monitors, stereos, cell phones, and other electronic equipment. E-waste contains a mixture of hazardous chemicals, precious metals, and plastics. During the recycling process, electronics must be carefully dismantled because the hazardous materials within—carcinogenic, mutagenic, reproductive, and developmental toxins—can have profoundly deleterious effects on workers.
For example, lead comprises roughly 20% of the glass in a traditional TV or computer monitor.
Lead can damage the nervous system, cardiovascular system, and the kidneys.
Other toxic materials that can be found in electronics include mercury, cadmium, and halogenated organics such as brominated flame retardants. Prisoners describe being forced to break open some computer monitors because prisoners were denied the proper tips to unscrew housing shells
from the Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs), and report using hammers to break the CRTs’ leaded glass.
These kinds of practices put prisoners and prison staff at risk. This report uses prisoners’ letters and affidavits, information revealed by prison staff, published
reports, and public hearings and investigations to bring UNICOR’s toxic sweatshops into public view.
Featured in sidebars throughout this report are quotations from prisoners, the
front-line workers in UNICOR factories.
Identifying characteristics have been removed to protect prisoners from retalia-
tion. UNICOR is a government-owned corporation, operating in the name of justice and the people, with significant resources from taxpayer dollars through direct and indirect subsidies. Despite UNICOR’s claims about environmental stewardship in e-waste recycling, its practices fall short in comparison with responsible commercial domestic recyclers. UNICOR has periodically drawn opposition from business and labor groups concerned about its effect on the U.S. economy. The history of UNICOR’s expansion and the resistance against it provide both concern and hope for the future of electronic waste recycling. We begin by describing how UNICOR’s prison recycling program first received public scrutiny.
HOW UNICOR RAN INTO TROUBLE WITH THE LAW
UNICOR began its electronics recycling business in 1994 in a federal prison in
Marianna, Florida. Over the next few years, UNICOR’s electronics recycling
operation spread to several federal prisons, including Elkton, Ohio and Fort Dix,New Jersey.
As of September 2005, UNICOR had electronics recycling facilities in seven prisons.
When it opened in April 2002, the electronics recycling facility in Atwater, California was hailed as UNICOR’s “largest to date.”
At that time, Leroy Smith was the health and safety manager at the Atwater federal prison. As a four- teen-year veteran of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), Smith consistently received outstanding job evaluations.
We cannot shout loudly enough that this recycled plastics/technology in the hands of global corporations will be a total disaster in public health and our US city environments. US Counties are targeted as much.
This is why we say CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY is NOT GREEN. Yet, that is who candidates running as GREEN-----as FEELING THE BERN FAKE left social progressives are working. This is why we say all third and fourth parties being formed are all captured by the same global Wall Street Clinton neo-liberals. The only way to stop this is to stop MOVING FORWARD SMART CITIES ONE WORLD ONE GRID.
WE THE PEOPLE must imagine---not just what toxic waste is created in building these global online structures and the super-sized energy grids they need but think how all these components are going to need replacing. Don't believe these LIFESPAN data----global Wall Street makes products that deliberately need replacing OFTEN.
No doubt ELON MUSK will be telling us he will ship all this waste to MARS----TO CERES---with his planetary mining slaves----
LET'S JUST GET RID OF GLOBAL WALL STREET CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA ---NOW TRUMP AND THEIR 5% PLAYERS.
When Republican states in south say they are going GREEN-------this is what they mean----GLOBAL GREEN CORPORATION. Van Jones-----Ben Jealous------Stein and Elizabeth Warren-----O'Malley---all these national leaders we see in media rushing to SAVE NATIVE LANDS FROM XL PIPELINE----are tied to global GREEN CORPORATION
Below we see SUSTAINABLE BRANDS-----acting as that LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE environmental group ---know what? The only sustainable stance in all this is STOP MOVING FORWARD ONE WORLD ONE GRID---you will not hear these 'green groups' say that!
'Launched in 2006, Sustainable Brands has become a global learning, collaboration, and commerce community of forward-thinking business and brand strategy, marketing, innovation and sustainability professionals who are leading the way to a better future. We recognize that brands today have… [Read more about Sustainable Brands]'
Toxic Chemicals in Recycled Plastic Electronics Threaten Circular Economy
April 17, 2017
by Sustainable Brands
A recent report by UK-based charity CHEMTrust has linked the recycling of plastic components of electrical and electronic products to dangerous human health risks, creating obstacles for the recycling industry and the widespread adoption of a circular economy.
Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs) are largely to blame. The chemicals are commonly found in furniture and building materials and are increasingly popping up in electronics as metal components are replaced by plastic. Both acute and chronic exposure to BFRs with developmental neurotoxic (DNT) properties, such as those in the polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) group, can lead to such health problems as lower mental, psychomotor and physical development and IQ, as well as decreased fine motor coordination and cognition, poor working memory and decreased processing speed.
BFRs are already banned or nearly banned in the European Union, yet their presence persists. Not only are BFRs increasingly found in dust, but they often appear in products imported from countries such as China, where e-waste is on the rise and recycling regulations and policies are less stringent. Plastics recovered from electronics contain PBDEs, but often they are not disposed of properly and find their way into children’s toys, as pointed out by Joseph DiGangi and Jitka Strakova in their 2015 Toxic Toy or Toxic Waste: Recycling POPs Into New Products report.
“The brain development of future generations is at stake,” said Dr. Michael Warhurst, director of CHEMTrust. “We need EU regulators to phase out groups of chemicals of concern, rather than slowly restricting one chemical at a time. We cannot continue to gamble with our children’s health.”
The EU is slowly but surely restricting the use of DNT chemicals and plastics containing persistent organic chemicals (POPs) can efficiently and safely be incinerated, yet a lack of transparency and communication along the product lifecycle often leads to improper handling at the end-of-life stage. Additionally, imported products may contain dangerous substances, having been recycled outside of the EU.
While non-action is not an option, the introduction of stricter regulations poses a number of difficulties for businesses. It is likely that costs will rise for companies who use recycling as a means to generate additional revenue, as well as for those who rely on recycled plastic materials to manufacture new products.
“Whereas steel is just steel, plastic is not just plastic,” Philip Morton, former CEO of UK e-waste producer compliance scheme Repic told The Guardian. “There are a number of different grades and additives that should be on everyone’s radar. More things will soon start appearing on the ‘POP list’ and that has the potential to become very difficult [for industry].”
“Going forward, there will have to be stronger connections between manufacturing and the designers of their products as it’s a closed loop and producers putting these products on the market will ultimately pay for recycling at the end of a product’s life.”
These are the GREEN INDUSTRY jobs, jobs, jobs global Wall Street Clinton/Obama neo-liberals and FAKE GREEN PARTY candidates and pols are promoting. At the same time they are the ones pushing the AFFORDABLE HOUSING policies in US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones that will become these toxic industrial sites with factory dormitory housing.
Just as DuPont was allowed several decades ago to install leaded water pipes in our US city water systems----into paint KNOWING lead harmed brain development---we are seeing the same policies MOVING FORWARD that will make all this public health crises look pale.
No one escapes this---if you are not that global factory sweat shop worker fresh out of the 6th grade----you will be that community filled with the fumes-----the community whose ground water is contaminated-----the US city whose soil is too contaminated for COMMUNITY GARDENS.
“The brain development of future generations is at stake,” said Dr. Michael Warhurst, director of CHEMTrust. “We need EU regulators to phase out groups of chemicals of concern, rather than slowly restricting one chemical at a time. We cannot continue to gamble with our children’s health.”
When a global Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health provide media saying its executives ARE EXCEPTIONAL-----are the best at creating systems of protection-----that these doctors are looking out for citizens not only in Baltimore but globally-----AS THEY ARE THE ONES PUSHING ONE WORLD ONE GRID SMART CITIES-----AS THEY ARE PUSHING GLOBAL PORTS WITH FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE INDUSTRY-----simply to patent more products----
Let's get these global IVY LEAGUE hedge fund universities out of our government.
'Though 22 states currently have laws that declare electronic manufacturers financially responsible for recycling their own products, Urbina reports that the rampant fraud in the tracking of electronic waste and shockingly little oversight in the disposal chains has rendered the legislation virtually useless'.
If WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% do not STOP MOVING FORWARD NOW-----these environmental disasters----workplace and community toxicity will soar. This is what our Baltimore City Council pols----Maryland Assembly pols-----our Mayor PUGH and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan-----this is what global Wall Street Baltimore Development/Greater Baltimore 'labor and justice' organizations are PROMOTING. Race to the Top with online K-UNIVERSITY------Affordable Care Act with global telemedicine------massive ALTERNATIVE energy platforms called green-----SMART CITIES policies all create these conditions in our US cities/counties.
NYT: E-Waste Epidemic Creating a Toxic 'Glass Tsunami'
New York Times article highlights the growing stockpiles of toxic electronic waste and the lack of accountability behind them
Lauren McCauley, staff writer
The proliferation of toxic electronic waste is creating a "glass tsunami," according to New York Times writer Ian Urbina, whose new piece highlights the surging epidemic of e-waste stockpiles and the disturbing lack of oversight that has all-but absolved the consumer electronics industry behind the mess.
Despite widespread agreement from experts and environmentalists that the solution to the growing e-waste problem is for technology companies to "design products that last longer, use fewer toxic components and are more easily recycled," Urbina laments that the consumer electronics industry "seems to be heading in the opposite direction."
In 2009, after television broadcasters turned off their analog signals nationwide in favor of digital, millions of people threw away their old televisions and replaced them with sleeker flat-screen models. Since then, thousands of pounds of old televisions and other electronic waste have been surreptitiously unloaded at landfills in Nevada and Ohio and on roadsides in California and Maine.
The amount of electronic waste has more than doubled in the past five years. And advancements such as flat-screen technology, which contain mercury-laden fluorescent bulbs, have significantly decreased the recycling value of most monitors creating a "glass tsunami" as stockpiles of the "useless material" accumulate in warehouses nationwide.
According to industry estimates, roughly 660 million pounds of monitor glass are currently being stockpiled—many of which belong to recycling companies who have been paid to collect and responsibly dispose of the machines. However, with an estimated cost of $85 million to $360 million to responsibly recycle it all, according to e-waste research firm Transparent Planet, many of these warehouses are at the risk of, or have already been, abandoned.
The article describes one warehouse "the size of a football field" abandoned by an electronics recycling company near Fresno, California:
The crumbling cardboard boxes, stacked in teetering rows, 9 feet high and 14 feet deep, were so sprawling that the inspectors needed cellphones to keep track of each other. The layer of broken glass on the floor and the lead-laden dust in the air was so thick that the inspectors soon left over safety concerns.
Though 22 states currently have laws that declare electronic manufacturers financially responsible for recycling their own products, Urbina reports that the rampant fraud in the tracking of electronic waste and shockingly little oversight in the disposal chains has rendered the legislation virtually useless.
South Carolina Code of Laws
UnannotatedTitle 48 - Environmental Protection and Conservation
South Carolina Manufacturer Responsibility and Consumer Convenience Information Technology Equipment Collection and Recovery Act
SECTION 48-60-05. Short title.
This chapter may be cited as the "South Carolina Manufacturer Responsibility and Consumer Convenience Information Technology Equipment Collection and Recovery Act".
HISTORY: 2010 Act No. 178, Section 1, eff July 1, 2011.
2010 Act No. 178, Section 3, provides:
"This act takes effect July 1, 2011; provided, however, a retailer must be allowed an additional period of six months from the effective date to sell any inventory purchased prior to the effective date before having to comply with the applicable provisions of this act."
2014 Act No. 129, Section 14, provides as follows:
"Section 14. Section 48-60-50 of the 1976 Code, as amended by Section 3 of this act, is repealed December 31, 2014. The remaining provisions of Chapter 60, Title 48 of the 1976 Code, except Section 48-60-90, are repealed December 31, 2021."
SECTION 48-60-10. Legislative findings.
The General Assembly finds:
(1) Televisions, computing, and printing devices are critical to the development of this state's economy and the promotion of the quality of life of the citizens of this State.
(2) Many of these televisions, computing, and printing devices can be refurbished and reused, or recycled.
(3) Developing and implementing a system for recovering televisions, computing, and printing devices promotes resource conservation, public health, public safety, and economic prosperity.
(4) In order to carry out these purposes, the State must establish a comprehensive and convenient recovery program for televisions, computing, and printing devices based on individual manufacturer responsibility and shared responsibility among consumers, retailers, and government, and that the program must ensure that end-of-life televisions, computing, and printing devices are disposed of in a manner that promote resource conservation through the development of an effective and efficient system for collection and recycling, and to encourage manufacturers to offer convenient collection and recycling service to consumers at no charge.
Each one of the states listed as doing something GREEN are the worst of offenders. It is the passing of these laws that have national media calling these pols GREEN-----that has FAKE GREEN organizations like LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS----and SIERRA CLUB----using this one vote to rank that state and or pols as GREEN. EVERYONE KNOWS THIS IS FAKE.
Here is global Wall Street CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA'S favorite global corporation-----and look---it's GREEN telling the 99% what they need to do to be GREEN. Here we see GLOBAL GREEN CORPORATION telling WE THE PEOPLE our elected global Wall Street pols have passed laws looking out for our public health----but wait----that last article stated these policies are worthless because they are filled with FRAUD AND CORRUPTION---NO ONE IS ENFORCING THESE LAWS!
HOME DEPOT Electronics Recycling Programs
HELP KEEP YOUR COMMUNITY CLEAN
By recycling your old electronics
Learn How To Best Dispose of Old Computers & Electrical Equipment
Some electronic items contain parts and other chemical compounds that may be hazardous to the environment. Help keep these items out of landfills, dumps and other unauthorized abandonment sites by participating in a responsible electronic recycling program in your local area. Some materials used in the composition of electronics are recyclable and reusable, making them valuable commodities that help save our natural resources.
Electronic recycling requisitions enacted by states
California enacted its Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003 and associated regulations to establish a ... More
In July of 2007, Connecticut adopted its Electronics Recycling Law which provides consumers convenient ... Ashley More
In 2008, Hawaii passed the Electronic Waste and Television Recycling Act which requires manufacturers ... More
The Illinois Electronic Products Recycling and Reuse Act, effective since 2008, requires manufacturers to ... Ashley More
In May of 2009, Indiana passed a statewide e-waste recycling law which establishes recycling programs ... Ashley More
In 2006, the State of Maine made it illegal to dispose of televisions and computer monitors and ... Ashley More
In 2006, the State of Maryland passed an electronics recycling law requiring manufacturers to establish a ... Ashley More
In 2008, the State of Michigan passed its electronics recycling law requiring that manufacturers establish More
In May of 2007 Minnesota passed the Electronics Recycling Act, targeting the collection and recycling of Ashley More
In 2008, the State of Missouri passed the “Manufacturer Responsibility and Consumer Convenience ... More
In In 2008 the State of New Jersey passed the Electronic Waste Management Act requiring all original ... More
In 2010 the State of New York passed the Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act requiring ... Ashley More
In 2007, the State of North Carolina passed a law that established the "Discarded Computer Equipment and Television ... More
On May 12, 2008, the State of Oklahoma passed the Computer Equipment Recovery Act which Ashley More
In 2007, Oregon enacted its Electronics Recycling Law which requires manufacturers of desktop Ashley More
In 2010, Pennsylvania passed the Covered Device Recycling Act which manufacturers of computers, ... More
In June of 2008, the State of Rhode Island passed a comprehensive electronic waste recycling law ... Ashley More
In May of 2010, South Carolina passed the Manufacturer Responsibility and Consumer Convenience ... More
In 2008, Texas adopted a law which establishing the Computer Equipment Recycling Program, under ... More
In 2010, the State of Vermont passed an electronic waste law that regulates the disposal of certain ... Ashley More
In 2008 the state of Virginia passed a law requiring manufacturers of computer equipment to provide a ... Ashley More
In 2007 Washington State adopted a law that requires manufacturers to provide electronic product ... Ashley More
In 2010, West Virginia passed a law banning certain electronics from West Virginia landfills, including ... Ashley More
In 2009, Wisconsin passed a law that bans many consumer electronics from Wisconsin landfills and ... More
We all know the routine of industrial pollution and toxic waste dumps placed in low-income communities exposing what is fast becoming the 99% to the hazards of far-right wing global Wall Street DISDAIN FOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE.
Here in Baltimore all citizens are exposed to the neglect of PUBLIC HEALTH----we all have asthma because several decades ago industrial plants were allowed to fill the air with toxic fumes---fill the ground with toxic chemicals. Then we had the left social progressive era that cleaned the air----cleaned the water----cleaned the soil in states caring about PUBLIC INTEREST AND PUBLIC HEALTH ----that is NOT BALTIMORE.
WE THE PEOPLE must understand what MOVING FORWARD 4th industrial revolution brings is not only that same industry now having NO REGULATIONS OR PUBLIC PROTECTIONS from the same pollution, same toxic waste only this time those GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUSES AND GLOBAL FACTORIES ARE SUPER-SIZED.
EVERYONE IN NO ONE OUT OF BEING EXPOSED TO HAZARDOUS DISASTERS. YES, IT WILL BE CONCENTRATED WHEREVER THE GLOBAL WALL STREET POLS AND PLAYERS BUILD AFFORDABLE HOUSING, AFFORDABLE HOUSING, AFFORDABLE HOUSING.
We want to show how global Wall Street Baltimore Development 'labor and justice' organizations PRETEND TO PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH. We now have a PLANK COVE POINT UNDERARMOUR CAMPUS in SW Baltimore already growing and will take miles of SW-----West----and meet with that second global corporate campus that LARRY HOGAN is making of NW Baltimore. SW UnderArmour on the water is clearly part of the global 1% and their 2% neck of the woods---it is built as a global resort for global executives and connects along the waterfront to University of Maryland Medical Center also being staged as a HEALTH RESORT FOR THE GLOBAL 1% AND THEIR 2%.
WE WOULD NOT EXPECT HAZARDOUS WASTE INCINERATORS OR DUMPS IN THESE AREAS.
United Workers is a global Wall Street 'labor and justice' organization found in US cities across the nation. The grassroots people mostly all want to help people and communities----the executive leaders use this organization to PRETEND TO HELP PEOPLE AND COMMUNITIES.
Here we have United Workers WINNING on environment by stopping a waste incinerator in just that downtown waterfront SW BALTIMORE community. No incinerator would have been built there--it simply pretends 99% of citizens are empowered when they are not. What we see this group do afterwards is promote that massive solar platform needed by global UnderArmour and global UMMS BIOTECH PARK.
Fair Development Victory! Celebrate with us RSVP to the Concert for Fair Development
Posted by greggalen ⋅ March 26, 2015Baltimore City Board of Estimates Votes to End Agreement with Energy Answers Incinerator Project
Baltimore City School Board today is ending a similar agreement with the Curtis Bay project
This follows Baltimore Regional Cooperative Purchasing Committee decision in February to end its support for trash burning project
Baltimore City leaders reverse years of support for the troubled Energy Answers trash-burning incinerator, when the Board of Estimates voted to terminate its energy purchasing agreement with the company. The action by the Board of Estimates removes an important source of revenue for the project in the Fairfield neighborhood of far south Baltimore. Additionally, the Baltimore City School Board has decided to end its agreement with the incinerator project as well and is in the process of informing Energy Answers. Students, community members and environmentalists have been protesting the massive waste-to-energy incinerator because it would cause more air pollution to a community that already suffers some of the most toxic air pollution in Maryland.
Public scrutiny of the purchasing contract grew when students, parents, and teachers from Free Your Voice, a human rights committee of United Workers based in Curtis Bay, called on the Baltimore City School Board to opt out of this agreement last spring. Free Your Voice mounted a public pressure campaign across the region leading to the larger Baltimore Regional Cooperative Purchasing Committee’s decision to end its support for the project. Media also grew with national stories in the New York Times, Grist.org, and viral videos on social media promoted by 350.org and Pulitzer prize winning author Margaret Atwood.
Josh Acevedo, Free Your Voice leader, “There’s already a lot of pollution and Curtis Bay has been treated like a dumping ground for far too long. Breathing clean air is a basic human right. This milestone shows that the city is acknowledging that this incinerator isn’t a good idea and that there are humans whose lives would be affected if it were to be built.”
Free Your Voice is organizing a celebratory Concert for Fair Development the week of Earth Day on April 25th at Benjamin Franklin High School that will highlight healthy and equitable alternatives including solar farm projects, zero waste reuse and recycling industries, and local agricultural initiatives.
Amanda Maminski, Curtis Bay resident, “We believe there are other alternatives to the proposed incinerator, alternatives that will not involve poisoning the already-toxic environment within and around the Curtis Bay community. One of those alternatives gaining popular community support is a solar facility, a solar farm, on the tract of land currently owned by FMC Corporation.”
We would in fact expect to find that massive industrial solar platform in Curtis Bay where FRACKING NATURAL GAS EXPORT TERMINALS ARE LOCATED. The FMC Corporation is that very, very , very bad environmental/global Wall Street corporation having no intent on building anything environmental. So, we already know there will not be a LEFT GREEN SOLAR ENERGY PLATFORM BUILT. United Workers as other FAKE environmental organizations promote this idea of far-right wing GLOBAL GREEN CORPORATION. As a REAL environmentalist who tries to educate these environmental groups---they will always say THEY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING....MEANING GLOBAL WALL STREET 1% KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING.
So, we have a global Wall Street Baltimore Development 'labor and justice' organization promoting what will KILL GREATER BALTIMORE'S ENVIRONMENT AS WELL AS THE CHESAPEAKE BAY AND PORT OF BALTIMORE-----it's about the jobs, jobs, jobs. Again, the grassroots citizens tied to these FAKE labor and justice organizations really do want to help their communities------STOP JOINING THESE GLOBAL WALL STREET BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT/GLOBAL JOHNS HOPKINS NGOs! They are the ANTITHESIS OF BEING GREEN AND PUBLIC HEALTH.
'FMC Corporation is an American chemical manufacturing company headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The company was founded by chemist John Bean in 1883 as the Bean Spray Pump Company in Los Gatos, California, producing piston pumps for insecticides. In 1928, Bean Spray Pump purchased two companies: the Anderson-Barngrover Co. and Sprague-Sells Co. At this time the company changed its name to Food Machinery Corporation, and began using the initials FMC. In 1941 the company FMC received a contract to design and build amphibious tracked landing vehicles for the United States War Department, and afterwards the company continued to diversify its products. FMC employed 5,500 people worldwide, and had gross revenues of US$3.4 billion in 2011'.
The second issue is the FAKE community garden policies placing all energy on what is vital fresh, local food in areas known to be developed as GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUSES.......this is NOT GREEN-----if we are not stopping MOVING FORWARD US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES. Who knows these food gardens are located in temporary sourced real estate? Global Baltimore Development, global Johns Hopkins, and their pols in Baltimore City Council and Mayor PUGH.
WHERE ARE WE SEEING GLOBAL WALL STREET BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT TARGETING AFFORDABLE HOUSING? THAT IS WHERE TOXIC WASTE INCINERATORS----TOXIC INDUSTRIAL SOLAR PLATFORMS----TOXIC NUCLEAR AND CHEMICAL WASTE DUMPS WILL BE FOUND.
HUD Mandates ‘Affordable Housing’ in Affluent Baltimore Suburbs
By Susan Jones | March 25, 2016 | 7:26 AM EDT
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro. (AP File Photo)
(CNSNews.com) - The Obama administration has started its push to expand low-income housing into "higher opportunity areas."
The Department of Housing and Urban Development last week announced a "landmark" settlement agreement with Baltimore County that will serve as a catalyst to "promote housing mobility" and "address residential segregation."
The goal is to move low- and very-low-income people out of the city and into the suburbs.
“Every person deserves a fair shot at opportunity, and that starts with a decent, safe, and affordable place to call home,” HUD Secretary Julián Castro said in the March 15 announcement. “This agreement sets Baltimore County on a path to stronger, more inclusive communities where everyone can enjoy equal access to opportunity."
The agreement stems from a complaint filed with HUD in 2011 by the Baltimore County branch of the NAACP; a fair housing group; and three individuals who claimed Baltimore County had failed to "affirmatively further fair housing."
To settle that complaint, HUD is requiring Baltimore County to spend $30 million ($3 million annually for ten years) to create 1,000 affordable housing units, either through new construction or rehabilitation.
The units will be geographically dispersed in "neighborhoods that provide access to opportunity." The 46-page settlement includes a chart (Exhibit F) listing the 116 relatively affluent census tracts surrounding Baltimore City where most of the 1,000 housing units must be located.
At least 500 of the units must have three or more bedrooms to accommodate families with children; and at least one-third of the units must be accessible and made available to people with disabilities.
The housing units must be completed over a period of 12 years.
In addition, the county must provide 2,000 Housing Choice Vouchers to help families gain access to "higher opportunity neighborhoods."
The county must "proactively market the units to potential tenants who are least likely to apply, including African Americans families and families with a member who has a disability."
The county must, within 180 days, introduce (and keep trying to pass) legislation that prohibits housing discrimination based on a person's lawful source of income. This means a landlord can't refuse someone housing if he or she plans to pay the rent with Social Security or other public assistance instead of a paycheck (job!).
And finally, under the settlement agreement, the county must pay $150,000 to the three individuals who complained to HUD in 2011.
In June 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that federal housing law allows people to challenge zoning laws and other housing practices that have a "disparate" or harmful impact on minority groups, even if there is no proof that the discrimination was intentional.
And two weeks after that Supreme Court ruling, HUD issued a regulation intended to help poor people move into "communities that are rich with opportunity," as HUD Secretary Castro phrased it at the time.
Indeed, all of Baltimore's 5% to the 1% players are hawking affordable housing in NW Baltimore NE Baltimore both slated to become that toxic waste dumping ground. Here we see top global Wall Street Clinton neo-liberal cheerleaders Castro and NAACP pretending this Obama policy helps those poor and low-income. What are currently high income suburban communities will segue into industrial pushing the affluent suburbans into downtown.
Gwynn's Falls/communities along Falls Road were sites of MILLS ----these several decades these areas became affluent as desegregation pushed people tied to race and class to suburbs----well, now these areas will become those toxic waste dumping grounds for what is slated to be GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUSES AND GLOBAL FACTORIES.
Any REAL left social progressive groups fighting for environmental justice for 99% of citizens would be fighting NOW to stop global corporate campus development and what we KNOW WILL BE DOZENS OF HAZARDOUS WASTE INCINERATORS AND TOXIC WASTE DUMPS.
The industrial solar platform United Workers supports will create the same levels of pollution as out in California where toxic waste is dumped in CA and Nevada.
'The units will be geographically dispersed in "neighborhoods that provide access to opportunity." The 46-page settlement includes a chart (Exhibit F) listing the 116 relatively affluent census tracts surrounding Baltimore City where most of the 1,000 housing units must be located'
We want to post a RIGHT WING RESPONSE to locating affordable housing in affluent suburbs slated to become TOXIC WASTE DUMPS FOR GLOBAL FACTORIES. He we see that right wing painting Obama as SOCIALIST----Obama is raging far-right wing global Wall Street killing 99% of WE THE PEOPLE. Who pushes global Wall Street GREATER BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT hardest? THE RIGHT WING. The right wing global Wall Street pols have to play to their base ---those white affluent citizens tied to race and class having fled Baltimore now having THEIR COMMUNITIES trashed by global industries.
Obama's HUD was global Wall Street just as Clinton/Bush HUD was---no freedom happening---no housing justice---only mass movement of US citizens from their communities filled with personal equity in house ownership---community development----pushing suburbia into US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones. This is where all hazardous waste----toxic dumps----global corporate factories will now be located. NW and NE Baltimore and as this article states each state has these slated ZONES FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Where is Catholic Charities sending homeless to temporary housing----NW Baltimore---which 5% Baltimore Development player is being thrown that patronage bone to build this housing? If you are affluent fighting this development thinking it is LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE ---WAKE UP----these global corporate campus and factory plans kill the environment and public health for ALL 99% OF CITIZENS.
AFFH - Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Factsheet
Tavares, FL (Lake County, FL) Many updates added Oct. 26, 2016 Create: August 20, 2015
I will be adding "big picture"content periodically to this Factsheet with links to source materials. For frequent, detailed updates on AFFH, I recommend www.AFFH.net and Sustainable Freedom Lab .
The shortcut to this page is: http://bit.ly/Kill-AFFH
FiscalRangers.com has already published several articles on AFFH HERE.
If you want to start with a five minute overview video on AFFH, try THIS one.
AFFH (Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing) is a Federal HUD rule that was recently approved by HUD (in 2015) and requires that any local city or county agency receiving CDBG Federal Grants (like Lake County and several cities) must agree to a condition to implement AFFH. The new Lake County CDBG annual HUD grant plan contains a “Certification” page where they agree to implement AFFH. I have given public input to the Lake County Board more than once about the risks of accepting CDBG grants, but they ignored me.
AFFH is a liberal Obama Administration social justice program that replaces local zoning decisions with plans defined by the Federal Government. They require communities to conduct demographic studies to identify “economic disparity”, then develop a plan to correct it, and then actually implement the plan, monitored by HUD. A pilot case in Westchester County, NY of a less precise version of AFFH resulted in a massive lawsuit (see link further down) and now they are building 750 HUD defined low income housing units split among 31 predominately white, upper class neighborhoods.
Numerous news stories have appeared on AFFH dangers in mid-2015 and how it will be used to mandate creation of low income housing in wealthy neighborhoods. Critics question why the Federal government should have the right to over-ride local zoning then redistribute low income people into wealthier neighborhoods. This is different from requiring more spending in minority neighborhoods. Instead, the plan is to require movement of minority and low income people into higher income neighborhoods by creating HUD defined low income housing units. So, some neighborhoods with 1/4 acre + zoned housing will be forced to do infill low income housing.
The main result is to use AFFH to reduce home rule and make the Federal government a replacement for local zoning boards.
Recommendation (Updated May 23, 2016):
AFFH needs to be defunded and killed.
Lake County, FL Residents need to understand that if the County Board, and the local cities keep taking HUD grants that require AFFH compliance, they are obligated to implement AFFH, and could be sued later by local activists or HUD like Westchester County, NY experienced (see below) to create HUD defined low income housing within higher income neighborhoods. Westchester County is now having to build 750 low income units spread among 31 predominantly wealthy neighborhoods based upon AFFH required studies.
It is a Federal overreach of local zoning decisions and individual property rights. Cities and counties need to refuse HUD grants which now have requirements to comply with AFFH. One Colorado town did just that and we wrote about it HERE. Both US Senate and US House bills have been filed to defund AFFH but died (see below).
Recent articles / references on AFFH:
Added Oct. 26, 2016 - Rush Limbaugh May 9, 2016 story on new HUD efforts to force low income people into higher income neighborhoods. It is about "Obama's intention to destroy the suburbs." This is different from AFFH, but another HUD initiative to "equalize" neighborhoods. HUD is coming up with a new program to provide amped up Section 8 rent subsidy vouchers to low income people to pay rents while moving into higher income neighborhoods.
Added May 23, 2016 - This March 25, 2016 article explains how the City of Baltimore just settled a complaint filed by the NAACP with HUD regarding AFFH compliance. "HUD is requiring Baltimore County to spend $30 million ($3 million annually for ten years) to create 1,000 affordable housing units, either through new construction or rehabilitation. (NOTE: Rehabilitation means they could renovate a vacant house next to you and move a section 8 voucher family into it. This could be a way to use up HUD foreclosures.)
"The goal is to move low- and very-low-income people out of the city and into the suburbs."
"The units will be geographically dispersed in "neighborhoods that provide access to opportunity." The 46-page settlement includes a chart (Exhibit F) listing the 116 relatively affluent census tracts surrounding Baltimore City where most of the 1,000 housing units must be located."
"At least 500 of the units must have three or more bedrooms to accommodate families with children; and at least one-third of the units must be accessible and made available to people with disabilities."
"The county must "proactively market the units to potential tenants who are least likely to apply, including African Americans families and families with a member who has a disability.""
"In addition, the county must provide 2,000 Housing Choice Vouchers to help families gain access to "higher opportunity neighborhoods.""
Added May 23, 2016 - This Jul 20, 2015 National Review article on AFFH gives the best background on the motivations and plans leading up to AFFH. It's entire socialistic goal is to kill suburbs and merge them into a bigger regional government filling socialism goals of big government. They cite the original source for the ideas, the publication and the relationship with Obama's Alinsky supporters.
Added May 23, 2016 - This Jul. 28, 2015 New York Post article. "Obama collecting personal data for a secret race database" on AFFH explains how AFFH is being used to collect a massive database on minority demographics to be used to sue banks for finance discrimination or plan where low income housing needs to be built (in the middle of wealthy neighborhoods). Much of the data will be collected via AFFH HUD requirements for local cities and counties receiving HUD grants to conduct massive "assessments" to gather data, then develop AFFH compliance plans and implement them.
"The granddaddy of them all (racial databases) is the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing database, which the Department of Housing and Urban Development rolled out earlier this month to racially balance the nation, ZIP code by ZIP code. It will map every US neighborhood by four racial groups — white, Asian, black or African-American, and Hispanic/Latino — and publish “geospatial data” pinpointing racial imbalances.
The agency proposes using nonwhite populations of 50% or higher as the threshold for classifying segregated areas.
Federally funded cities deemed overly segregated will be pressured to change their zoning laws to allow construction of more subsidized housing in affluent areas in the suburbs, and relocate inner-city minorities to those predominantly white areas. HUD’s maps, which use dots to show the racial distribution or density in residential areas, will be used to select affordable-housing sites.
HUD plans to drill down to an even more granular level, detailing the proximity of black residents to transportation sites, good schools, parks and even supermarkets. If the agency’s social engineers rule the distance between blacks and these suburban “amenities” is too far, municipalities must find ways to close the gap or forfeit federal grant money and face possible lawsuits for housing discrimination.
Civil-rights groups will have access to the agency’s sophisticated mapping software, and will participate in city plans to re-engineer neighborhoods under new community outreach requirements.
“By opening this data to everybody, everyone in a community can weigh in,” Obama said. “If you want affordable housing nearby, now you’ll have the data you need to make your case.”
(Note: In my opinion, this means "civil rights groups" can SUE local cities for not taking action. Much like the Westchester County, NY lawsuit or being sued for not protecting endangered species.)
May 20, 2016 - A US Senator filed a bill to block funding for AFFH, but the Senate let it die. The House may still file a bill to defund AFFH. They did last year.
HERE is a radio interview on the Rush Limbaugh show just before the vote on the Senate bill.
"Published on May 17, 2016 May 17, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning appeared on the Rush Limbaugh Show with guest host Mark Steyn at 2:30PM EST to discuss the imminent Senate vote on an amendment by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), S.3897, to the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) appropriations bill that will prohibit implementation of the HUD regulation “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” (AFFH) that conditions $3 billion of yearly community development block grants on 1,200 recipient cities and counties rezoning neighborhoods along income and racial guidelines.
Jul 8, 2015 - "Housing Redistribution: HUD Plans to Move Subsidized Housing Into Areas 'Rich With Opportunity'"
"If communities want to continue receiving federal housing funds, they must spend the money in ways that move inner-city minorities, for example, into subsidized housing in wealthier, whiter suburbs."
Jul 29, 2015 - Breitbart article "War on Suburbs: Obama, Julian Castro Rev Up Affirmative Action Housing"
References about AFFH:
You can see all prior articles we have written on FiscalRangers.com about AFFH HERE.
FiscalRangers.com also has a periodically updated Factsheet on AFFH dangers HERE (this page).
HERE is a March, 2016 five minute overview video on AFFH dangers by expert John Anthony.
AFFH.net is a podcast about dangers of AFFH. Here is their "Elevator Speech" on AFFH. They post continuous new items about AFFH so are a good source for updates.
"AFFH gives FREE federal grant money to the suburbs. But what they don't tell you is that by taking the money, you the suburbs will be forced to gentrify your neighborhoods with low-income racially diverse high density housing.
"1) HUD is imposing requirements that go far beyond what the 1968 Fair Housing Act demands
2) Moves low income housing to the suburbs
3) The new rule blocks private choice and the history of American residential patterns
4) Uses subsidies (block grants) as blackmail against 1,250 targeted U.S. localities
5) HUD grantees must consider statistical data such as education and transportation that are only remotely related to housing
6) Communities threatened with huge legal expenses from allegations by HUD and Civil Rights groups
7) HUD requires racial analysis of demographic data that should instead be colorblind (race baiting?)
Sustainable Freedom Lab is a major source of info on AFFH
http://sustainablefreedomlab.org/ has many posts on property rights and the dangers of AFFH and HUD's Federal overreach.
They produced a property rights pamphlet "Agency Tyranny" by John Anthony which should be required reading by all City & County elected officials and City/County Managers, planners and HUD grant adminstrators. Here is a copy if you cannot download the latest version from their site:
Legal Issues - Westchester County, NY, home of Hillary Clinton, is a lawsuit pilot case
Westchester County is an example of what will happen when communities take HUD grants but then ignore AFFH requirements. They got sued based upon an early version of AFFH, and the lawsuit has been going on since 2009 because they fell under AFFH earlier.
March 29, 2016 - Mark Levine 9-minute radio show interview of Westchester County, NY's County Executive Rob Astorino about AFFH and the lawsuit there. He says under a HUD federal agreement, Westchester County must build 750 low income units in 31 white communities like Baltimore is doing, while HUD keeps expanding the requirements. AFFH social engineering "is coming to your community next like we warned Baltimore...especially if Hillary Clinton is elected..." he says.
July 27, 2015 - An earlier Fox News segment with Rob Astorino about the Westchester lawsuit.
HERE is an anti-discrimination website explaining the legal results and how far they will go to enforce AFFH.
HERE is an older update on the Westchester lawsuit from April 25, 2014 .
And, here is a short video on AFFH for Dummies by resident & Westchester County, NY County Executive Rob Astorino about the anguish AFFH caused to local residents by the lawsuit.
Keep in mind---this NAACP lawsuit is tied to Obama's HUD policies we all know is very, very, very bad for 99% of people. NAACP is that global Wall Street Baltimore Development 'labor and justice' organization with the 5% to the 1% getting patronage for pushing BAD SOCIAL POLICIES.
'The units will be geographically dispersed in "neighborhoods that provide access to opportunity." The 46-page settlement includes a chart (Exhibit F) listing the 116 relatively affluent census tracts surrounding Baltimore City where most of the 1,000 housing units must be located'.
If one can actual see this CHART (EXHIBIT F) one will see just where environmental devastation will be worse and we can bet these Fake 5% 'LABOR AND JUSTICE' organizations will be out 20 years from now shouting against this environmental injustice of toxic waste in low-income communities.
THE GLOBAL WALL STREET 5% TO THE 1% CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA POLS AND PLAYERS KNOW THIS IS THE GOAL AND WHERE ARE THE HOSPITALS----THE EMERGENCY PLANNING FOR HAZARDOUS/NUCLEAR WASTE DISASTERS? DOWNTOWN WHERE THE GLOBAL 1% AND THEIR 2% WILL BE LOCATED.
Remember, the ACLU which used to fight for housing equal opportunity and access is now far-right wing global Wall Street neo-liberal so it has not enforced housing or environmental justice laws these few decades of CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA ---NOW TRUMP.
WE THE PEOPLE MUST STOP BEING REACTIVE TO PUBLIC POLICY----NOW IS THE TIME TO BE PROACTIVE IN HOUSING JUSTICE ---IN ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE----AND BOTH THE RIGHT WING AND LEFT WING NEED TO COME TOGETHER AND A 99% VS 1%.
'The agreement stems from a complaint filed with HUD in 2011 by the Baltimore County branch of the NAACP; a fair housing group; and three individuals who claimed Baltimore County had failed to "affirmatively further fair housing."'
SEE THE NAACP 'CIVIL RIGHTS' SETTLEMENT TO KNOW WHERE AFFORDABLE HOUSING TIED TO THE WORST OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION WILL BE LOCATED IN YOUR NECK OF THE WOODS.
'To settle that complaint, HUD is requiring Baltimore County to spend $30 million ($3 million annually for ten years) to create 1,000 affordable housing units, either through new construction or rehabilitation'.
Working to expand housing opportunities by increasing the supply of affordable, quality rental housing in Maryland through advocacy, education and collaboration.
The Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition
is the leading voice for affordable rental housing development in Maryland. The Coalition has a diverse group of over 185 member organizations. Our members include:
We envision a new model of housing and community development, where outside real estate developers and speculators are not in control, but where a vibrant non-speculative, permanently affordable, housing sector exists that consists of public housing, non-profit housing, shared-equity housing, and limited-equity housing controlled by residents & the communities in which they reside.
The Baltimore Housing Roundtable's mission is to coordinate and integrate the work of BHR members into a unified movement that will promote and facilitate social change. BHR members understand that individuals cannot create widespread social change on their own. Competition among non-profits over limited public and private resources contributes to a fragmented system that does not meet housing need in Baltimore, particularly among those with low or no income. However, as a collaborative, BHR members can pool resources and advocate to implement an agenda of systemic change and realize our shared values and vision.
Community Land Trusts in Baltimore
Baltimore City currently has two Community Land Trusts in operation—the Charm City Land Trust and the North East Housing Initiative. Learn more about the basics of CLTs here in this basic overview. There is also interest and organizing around affordable housing and the need for CLTs in Remington, Waverly, Curtis Bay, and Brooklyn.
The North East Housing Initiative, Inc. (NEHI) developed out of St. Anthony’s Church Social Advocacy committee in 2012. It is the outgrowth of a series of speak-outs, public events, listening campaigns, and political advocacy that demonstrated and reiterated the need for affordable housing development.
NEHI members are united and committed to improving their communities by creating and promoting permanently affordable housing for those who have the greatest need, including people of low and moderate income, the physically and cognitively challenged, veterans, and the elderly by creating a community land trust, whose ownership is shared by individuals and the community.
WATCH!: Members of the North East Housing Initiative, Father Ty Hullinger and Linda Brown speak on NEHI at a public event hosted by the group.
If you are interested in learning more about NEHI, please contact Chris Lafferty at 410- 299-7089 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Charm City Land Trusts:
Charm City Land Trusts was started close to 13 years ago in McElderry Park, a neighborhood in East Baltimore. Anchored in the Amazing Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, the land trust owns and stewards 19 properties. The majority of these properties serve as one of McElderry Park’s only conserved green spaces. In the winter of 2016, the land trust acquired its first house and will be working on affordable housing development.
If you are interested in learning more about CCLT contact email@example.com and visit: https://charmcitylandtrusts.org
This is NOT a housing policy discussion we want folks to understand how we KNOW where housing and environmental injustice will occur a decade or so down the road. Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition is that far-right wing global Wall Street Clinton/O'Malley FAKE JUSTICE organization. We took a look at the NAACP Baltimore affordable housing settlement to see all kinds of blackened areas ----where are those housing to go? We know our NE communities fought to keep a ROYAL FARMS from their community----that Royal Farms was being built because an INTERSTATE OFF-RAMP is coming to that NE community-----this is where 'land grant'/affordable housing is slated to be built----THE COMING GLOBAL CORPORATE FACTORIES WITH TOXIC CHEMICAL AND NUCLEAR WASTE INCINERATORS AND DUMPS.
The beautiful community of HAMILTON-----AND SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES---are that middle-class/affluent community slated to be made into global factories, workers' dormitories, environmental waste dumps........WE ALREADY KNOW THIS BY WHERE AFFORDABLE HOUSING IS PLANNED BY GLOBAL WALL STREET PLAYERS WILL GO!
The other issue with this Obama/NAACP HUD settlement is this----IT IS TIED TO HOUSING VOUCHERS----yet more right wing housing policy designed to create winners and losers----selective housing violates US EQUAL PROTECTION HOUSING OPPORTUNITY AND ACCESS LAWS.
When we talk with those HAMILTON ROYAL FARM PROTESTORS about their communities to be taken by WALL STREET BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT MASTER PLAN----they refused to protest the goals of MOVING FORWARD----they simply think getting a delay in building one gas station is to stop the absolute devastation of their community.
WE THE PEOPLE MUST WORK TOGETHER AS A 99% TO STOP GLOBAL CORPORATE ENVIRONMENTAL DEVASTATION NOW.
Chicken Fight: The battle over a Royal Farms in Hamilton may be decided in the coming weeks
An artist’s rendering of the proposed Royal Farms on the 5900 block of Harford Road in Hamilton.
(Courtesy of Royal Farms)
Rachel Anne WarrenCity PaperRoFo or No RoFo? That is the question.
It may be answered on June 30, when the Board of Municipal Zoning Appeals (BMZA) hears a request from Royal Farms to build a 4,100-square-foot, 12-pump gas station on the 5900 block of Harford Road in Hamilton, a plan that has drawn fierce opposition from many in the neighborhood.
Residents opposed to the plan have organized as No RoFo Hamilton. City Councilman Robert Curran, who represents the area, supports the sale of the property to Royal Farms.
The first community association vote over the issue took place in June 2012, and the outcome was 13-11 in favor of Royal Farms. Roop Vijayan, now the vice president for the Glenham-Belhar (GHBH) neighborhood association, suggests residents were not made aware of the proposal or the vote.
About a dozen of the opponents attending the midday hearing expressed frustration with the fact that with so much opposition – 10 area community groups oppose the Royal Farms proposal and none favor it – for such a long time (here is a story from 2013), the project advanced again'.
WAKE UP FOLKS! MOVING FORWARD GLOBAL FACTORIES ----LOT'S OF ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE MEANS LOTS OF INTERSTATE EXPANSIONS AND OFF-RAMPS.
Citizens in Baltimore has these few decades of CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA----of global Wall Street Baltimore Development/global Johns Hopkins morphing into GREATER BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT fought zoning policies without attacking the GORILLA IN THE ROOM------MOVING FORWARD US CITIES AS FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES ----BALTIMORE'S MASTER PLAN.
Port of Baltimore will be the source of import/export of products and raw materials with lots and lots of toxic chemicals----nuclear waste-----factory waste---incinerators and dumps......we will see this in just a few decades. IT IS NOT ABOUT JOBS, JOBS, JOBS---AFFORDABLE HOUSING AFFORDABLE HOUSING----please stop allowing captured global Wall Street non-profits PRETEND TO BE LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE.
Our college students and grads caught in the VISTA college debt payment system coming to these US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones must KNOW THESE NGOs are global Wall Street installing very, very, very, bad development policies especially for public health----hazardous disasters.
Neighborhoodsby Fern Shen9:50 amMay 10, 201627
Communities lose appeal against Hamilton Royal Farms gas station
Circuit Court Judge affirms a Zoning Board decision granting permission for the controversial project on Harford Road
Above: A rendering of the proposed Hamilton Royal Farms. (Baltimore Planning Department)
Residents’ four-year-old struggle to stop a Royal Farms gas station – proposed across from the Hamilton branch of the Pratt Library in Northeast Baltimore – was dealt a blow yesterday when Circuit Court Judge Alfred Nance denied their appeal of an October Zoning Board approval.
The project, at the intersection of Harford Road and Glenmore Avenue, is in a B-3 zone that permits a convenience store, but that requires a “conditional use” for the construction of gas pumps.
In granting the conditional use, the board had relied on “faulty reasoning,” John Murphy, attorney for the opponents argued yesterday. Murphy said it conflicts with Schultz v. Pritts, a 1991 decision that he called “the Magna Carta of Maryland zoning law.”
The Zoning Board had said last October that it would grant the conditional use because it found no additional problems created by the gas pump use beyond those to be created by a convenience store, which is permitted in that location.
“The Board is not convinced that the addition of the gas station portion of the proposed use would significantly increase these risks to public health, security, or general welfare any more than those risks already posed by what could be a large, bright, traffic-riddled, permitted ‘as of right’ convenience store,” the board had concluded in its 4-1 October decision.
According to Schultz, Murphy said, the standard should be whether there are “any adverse effects above and beyond those inherently associated with such a special exception use irrespective of its location within the zone.”
Appearing on behalf of Two Farms Inc., the chain’s corporate parent, Andrew H. Baida argued that the Schultz case did not apply and that the Zoning Board had not found any additional adverse effect from the gas pumps. Denying rights to Royal Farms would be “arbitrary, capricious and illegal,” Baida said.
After listening to arguments for a little over an hour, Nance rejected Murphy’s argument and ruled in favor of Two Farms.
“This court disagrees with Mr. Murphy’s reading of Schultz based on the facts of this case,” Nance said. Nance said he knows the intersection well and even acknowledged the underlying concern – “How many gas stations is too many?” – but said his authority in reviewing zoning’s decision was narrow.
About a dozen of the opponents attending the midday hearing expressed frustration with the fact that with so much opposition – 10 area community groups oppose the Royal Farms proposal and none favor it – for such a long time (here is a story from 2013), the project advanced again.
“Why even ask us? Why not just say, ‘You can do whatever you want?’ ” said Kristen Hernandez, owner of the Hamilton Bakery and president of the Hamilton Business Association.
Residents have argued that the proposed eight-pump gas station would cause a traffic hazard at the unusual five-way intersection where it is proposed. Before the Zoning Board and in other hearings, as well as in letters and emails to public officials, they have said a suburban-style 24-hour gas station and convenience store is not appropriate for a residential community with elementary schools, small businesses, a library and lots of pedestrian use.
” ‘Baltimore City: No small business owners here!’ That should be our new tagline,” said Regina Lansinger, director of Hamilton Lauraville Main Street outside the courtroom.
“To have something like this that is in direct competition to the small business corridor, the efforts, the progress that we are making toward revitalization – this is just a smackdown,” she said bitterly.
Possible Next StepsThe Zoning Board’s decision came with conditions, noted Sandra R. Gutman of the city Law Department, reading them aloud in court.
Royal Farms would agree to donate a portion of the property to the city for a realignment of the intersection to make it safer and to relocate the traffic signal. The installation of lighting and landscaping would minimize the gas station’s impact on the adjacent residents, she said.
“At least we can hold them to all these conditions,” Lauraville resident Jody Landers said afterwards.
Others said that opponents need to determine whether they want to take the step of appealing the case yet again.
“I think we have come together as a group in the next few days and decide what we want to do,” said Glenham-Belhar Association president Roop Vijayan.
All 99% of WE THE PEOPLE in US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones like Baltimore have to do is look at Texas and CA development----especially TECHNOLOGY-BASED SILICON VALLEY----home of our NANCY PELOSI---toxic waste QUEEN!
Then, all we have to do is watch to where global Wall Street development corporations place low-income housing tied to global Wall Street HUD under CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA---NOW TRUMP to know where the most toxic, nuclear industrial waste areas will be----that is the fight for REAL LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVES.
Know how to put these FAKE global Wall Street far-right wing Baltimore Development 'labor and justice' organizations OUT OF BUSINESS? Stop allowing them to be the only voice for WE THE PEOPLE AND OUR SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE ISSUES!
This article let's Baltimore and Maryland citizens know to where ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE policies will go with PUBLIC HEALTH. Who drives these policies? Global Johns Hopkins and its global Wall Street Baltimore Development----who handles public health policies? Global Johns Hopkins. Who could care less about public health for the 99% of WE THE PEOPLE?
WOW----you mean this is PELOSI/BOXER/ FEINSTEIN/BROWN-----yes, and Baltimore is filled with the same CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA pushing to do the same to Greater Baltimore. It makes no difference to wait a few decades once all the damage is done to PRETEND to be helping WE THE PEOPLE THE 99%. THE ACTIONS NEED TO OCCUR NOW.
We can be sure NBC media is not being straight in holding power accountable. Baltimore's global Wall STreet pols and players will make this CA Silicon Valley environmental damage look like child's play.....Bush neo-conservatives are far worse than Clinton neo-liberals regarding environment.
GLOBAL JOHNS HOPKINS AND BLOOMBERG SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH.
Toxic Plumes: The Dark Side of Silicon Valley
By Stephen Stock, David Paredes and Scott PhamTrending Stories
There’s a dark side to the legacy of Silicon Valley: hundreds of old chemical spill sites that still contain toxic chemicals. Stephen Stock reports in a story that aired Monday, May 12, 2014. (Published Monday, May 12, 2014)
Silicon Valley is an economic engine with a long history of technical innovation. But there’s a dark side to that legacy in the form of hundreds of old chemical spill sites that still contain toxic chemicals. Some of these spills are from fuel leaks or dry cleaning shops but many have their origins in the early days of Silicon Valley: the 1960s and 1970s when a booming computer chip industry gave the region its name.
“The dark side of the legacy is the stuff left behind,” said Amanda “Mandy” Hawes, a worker’s rights attorney in Silicon Valley.
Hawes’ clients handled some of that “stuff” in factories and microchip clean rooms around the Bay. At the time, it wasn’t widely known just how toxic the chemicals they handled were.
“I think it wasn’t unheard of for stuff to be literally poured out the back door,” said Hawes.
Worker's rights attorney Amanda Hawes speaks with reporter Stephen Stock.Nobody at the time knew the full implications of what they were doing.
“We only later realized that these things are actually pretty toxic,” said Stephen Hill, toxic cleanup division chief for the San Francisco bay region of California’s regional Water Quality Control Board.
“These are basically unauthorized discharges from usually many years ago,” he said. “People doing things that at the time were considered normal and industry practice, but we now know cause problems.”
The EPA recognizes 23 official federal Superfund sites with discharges in them. The “Middlefied-Ellis-Whisman Study Area” is a large, well-known Superfund site in Santa Clara County. But state and federal officials tell us hundreds of other sites are also scattered all over Silicon Valley.
“With materials that get left in place after somebody’s business moves on,” said Hawes. “Materials can end up in the water and therefore can be a problem in water quality. Some of them also have the capacity to come back up. They can become vapor again. And unfortunately we’re seeing that as well."
When the chemicals rise through the soil and groundwater they become what’s known as “vapor plumes.” NBC Bay Area has plotted the locations of these plumes along with the historical sites of old tech companies in an interactive map. Government officials have recorded more than 518 toxic plumes in Santa Clara County alone.
“It is a bit of the dark side of Silicon Valley,” said Wenzlau. “But for me it is also an opportunity for Silicon Valley to make good.”
Wenzlau’s colleague Lenny Siegel, executive director of the Mountain View-based Center for Public Environmental Oversight, said that there’s a lack of organization and accountability on the side of government regulators.
“Part of the problem, our government is so split up into agencies and jurisdictions that there’s nobody who has responsibility for all of these sites.”
Siegel worked closely with Wenzlau on mapping all the toxic chemical spill sites and environmental restrictions they could find. Much of the data comes from the California State Water Resources Control board, but in order to get a comprehensive picture, they had to combine that information with data from other government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency.“WhatsDown”, a web application that aims to show the environmental dangers that are hidden under our feet.
“What’s important is the combination of the map, and the fact that there are tens of thousands of people living and working above plumes, or going to school above plumes,” said Siegel.
Using Terradex's data, along with the original government sources, we mapped these toxic sites ourselves.
“We can actually see how much of the valley has actually been impacted by these chemicals,” said Wenzlau.
Using these tools, it’s easy to spot more than a dozen day cares, elderly care homes and schools right on top or very close to sites where industrial chemicals still lurk in the soil.
“People should be asking questions,” said Siegel. “Now, some people say, ‘I don’t want to know about it, because it’s going to lower my property values’ and, I’m sympathetic but I don’t want to be the person who buys that property not knowing.”
Vanessa de la Piedra, with the Santa Clara Valley Water District, acknowledged that the number of spill sites is surprising.
“I think most people don’t realize just the sheer number of open cases out there,” said de la Piedra. She says, however, that the spills are not an immediate hazard to water quality.
“From an environmental perspective, of course we want to see these sites cleaned up and we do want to make sure that that contamination is contained and stable. So that it doesn’t impact other properties or deeper drinking water aquifers. But you shouldn’t be concerned about your drinking water quality,” she said.
Stephen Hill, with the Water Quality Control Board, echoed de la Piedra’s confidence. “I think that the regulatory agencies are doing their job,” he said.
However, it’s clear that Silicon Valley will continue to live with the legacy of these spill sites for a very long time.
“It’s going to be years, decades perhaps,” said Hill. “There’s no current exposure, but you’re trying to clean this up because we want this groundwater to be available for future users.
We all knew decades ago about this tech industry environmental devastation in CA------we knew they were shipping much of it out to states across the nation. Today the policies of MOVING FORWARD US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES super-sizes these industrial policies creating this Silicon Valley mess in all US cities like Baltimore.
While US downtown communities near PORTS may be protected most with EMERGENCY DISASTER PLANS=====ACCESS TO HEALTH IN THESE EMERGENCIES-----the city center communities may not have those TOXIC WASTE DUMPS and nuclear waste as our NW and NE Baltimore communities will----but as we see here one sure thing about environmental hazards----IT REALLY LIKE TO SPREAD AROUND.
GET RID OF THESE GLOBAL WALL STREET POLS AND 5% PLAYERS---WE DO NOT NEED THIS GLOBAL ECONOMY!
Report finds chemical cleanup leaves hazardous ‘toxic trail’ across U.S.
BY Allison McCartney March 17, 2014 at 12:27 PM EDTA new report details how the superheating process used at plants like this one in Kentucky can release chemicals called dioxins into the air, which have been linked to cancer and birth defects. Photo by Geoff Bugbee
Deep under California’s Silicon Valley, pools of toxic water are pumped through an infrastructure of pipes and filters that work around the clock to make the water drinkable again.
But is this massive system doing more harm than good? A new report from the Guardian and The Center for Investigative Reporting has revealed that the costly process of treating toxic water has dubious environmental benefits, and in some cases produces more chemical waste than it removes.
“There’s really no such thing as throwing something away,” Environmental Protection Agency spokesman Rusty Harris-Bishop told CIR. “You’re always throwing it somewhere.”
“There’s really no such thing as throwing something away.”In many cases, the original toxic water, which is the byproduct of solvents used by Silicon Valley’s earliest tech companies to degrease computer chips, is almost untreatable. The report estimates it would take 700 years of continuous treatment to make the groundwater below some parts of Silicon Valley drinkable again.
Silicon Valley, home to some of the world’s largest technology companies, is just one of 1,300 toxic sites that make up the Superfund program, which the EPA defines as “the federal government’s program to clean up the nation’s uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.” By following the trail and tracking the environmental effects of waste from the Silicon Valley Superfund site, CIR was able to piece together the hidden impacts of a widely lauded cleanup program and highlight the challenges the Superfund program faces.
The report also details the following:
“Ideally, regulators are thinking holistically about how to reduce the waste and make problems go away,” said Stephen Hill, head of the San Francisco water board’s toxics cleanup division. “Not just how to move them around like a shell game.”
To accompany the investigation, PBS NewsHour Extra, the educational resources site for the NewsHour, partnered with CIR and the Guardian to create a mock trial lesson plan and activities for students to engage with the topic of technology and pollution. If you are a teacher, or know any curious students in your life, check out these educational resources, then encourage your kids to submit Instagram videos using #toxictrail to show how they’re taking action in their community.
'The largest of these is the 57-unit building that we built at the invitation of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA.)'
What we watched in Silicon Valley we are now seeing in Baltimore------the use of SENIOR HOUSING as with other left social progressive groups like DISABLED are used to create LOW-INCOME density in communities WE ALREADY KNOW WILL BE TOXIC. We showed NE Baltimore communities tied to just this development----here we see NW Baltimore and Canton----using senior housing to create that low-income footprint in Greater Baltimore areas known to be slated for global corporate campus factories and toxic waste dumps. Both Weinberg and Jubilee are old-time global 1% ---Weinberg enriched as slum landlording and Baltimore rent court frauds-----Jubilee tied to Greater Baltimore Development pushing devastating environmental policies and hazardous public health policies.
What will be senior housing these few decades will be center in the worst of low-income hazardous waste communities. As Baltimore privatizes all its public housing 99% of citizens will depend on these NGOs with long histories of INJUSTICE.
'Weinberg Gardens Overview
Weinberg Gardens has a total of 84 units, all of which are Section 8 assisted living units. All units on this property are one-bedroom.
To determine the value of a particular housing program, we looked at the cost of rent versus the inspection score awarded to the property during its most recent inspection. Weinberg Gardens scored a value rating of 4.9 out of 5, which means the property is slightly above average for the area.
Contract rent for a studio unit at this housing program is $577 USD, which makes it a well priced option in Baltimore County. Note that as a Section 8 tenant, your rent will be based on your income. The unit is 32% less expensive than the fair market price of a non-Section 8 unit, although the rent a Section 8 tenant pays is dependent upon income'.
AHEPA – Affordable Senior Apartments
Project | AHEPA – Affordable Senior Apartments
In the 1990s the community leaders of Southeast Baltimore judged that senior housing was the most pressing need in their communities, and Jubilee responded to their call with six developments that created 134 affordable apartments for seniors in the heart of traditional neighborhoods. The largest of these is the 57-unit building that we built at the invitation of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA.)
This building makes it possible for seniors of limited income to live on the waterfront of the “Gold Coast” of Canton, one of Baltimore’s most heavily gentrified waterfront neighborhoods. Enterprise Homes provided construction loan guarantees and Enterprise Social Investment sold the tax credits that were needed to make this project happen. For this project, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development selected Jubilee as “Developer of the Year” in 2002.
The global 99% shouted loudly AGAINST the US policy of removing spent nuclear waste from countries around the world while defunding the security and containment these few decades. It was Obama and Clinton neo-liberals as part of START TREATY who are bringing the world's nuclear waste to our US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones to use in Foreign Economic Zone militarized defense. The global policy on spent nuclear waste was this----
WE WERE ALWAYS MADE AFRAID OF TERRORIST GROUPS GETTING THIS AND MAKING A DIRTY BOMB.
Who releases the most biological and nuclear threats inside US? Our Federal agencies tasked with research and development using those agents. There is always that employee ---there is always that lack of oversight and accountability that leads to dangerous hazards released into our communities. Then, on top of that---we have a global Wall Street far-right, authoritarian, militaristic dictatorship of CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA ---NOW TRUMP MOVING FORWARD to installing law saying it is OK to use these tactics inside US against US citizens.
Below we see the US citizens are being told there is good use for nuclear waste----we are loading regions of the US with this waste to build products.
It's ironic that MADAME CURIE died from radiation poison while making products like watches.
So we have nuclear waste coming into US ports and nuclear bombs and products with radioactive components going out. We already have enough computer toxic waste of rare earth minerals to kill our environment----here is the next LAYER of toxic waste that will end up in landfills----toxic waste incinerators----and WE DON'T NEED THESE PRODUCTS.
Dec 9, 2016 @ 06:00 AM 38,984 The Little Black Book of Billionaire Secrets
Radioactive Diamond Batteries: Making Good Use Of Nuclear Waste
James Conca ,
A research team at the University of Bristol has developed a way to use a type of nuclear waste to generate electricity in a nuclear-powered battery that is an actual diamond.
Diamonds are made from carbon under high pressures, which we can synthesize. If you make them from radioactive carbon-14 extracted from nuclear waste, they are able to generate a small electric current, becoming a battery that can last thousands of years with no emissions, radioactive or otherwise. Photo by Steve Jurvetson
Such a battery produces very low power, but has no moving parts, no emissions of any type including radiation, needs no maintenance, does not need to be recharged and will operate for thousands of years.
The team grew a man-made diamond that, when placed in a radiation field, was able to generate a small electrical current. And the radioactive field can be produced by the diamond itself by making the diamond from radioactive carbon-14 extracted from nuclear waste.
Even better, the amount of radioactivity in each diamond battery is a lot less than in a single banana.
Diamonds are made from pure carbon subjected to high pressures, usually deep in the Earth’s crust. But we have been artificially making them for decades. You just need a good carbon source, such as graphite or coal, and a machine to create the high pressure.
It turns out that we use graphite blocks to moderate nuclear reactions in many nuclear power plants. The neutron radiation during operations activates the non-radioactive carbon by capturing a neutron and producing radioactive carbon-14, mostly at the surface of these blocks. Research by another group at Bristol showed that it is possible to extract most of the carbon-14 from the graphite so it can be made into a diamond, thereby becoming a nuclear-powered battery.
The normal way to produce electricity is to use energy, like burning coal or capturing wind, to move a magnet through a coil of wire to generate a current. However, a diamond is able to produce a charge simply by being subjected to a radiation field.
Professor Tom Scott from Bristol’s Cabot Institute points out, “There are no moving parts involved, no emissions generated and no maintenance required, just direct electricity generation. By encapsulating radioactive material inside diamonds, we turn a long-term problem of nuclear waste into a nuclear-powered battery and a long-term supply of clean energy.”
There are a million tons of such graphite blocks around the world and this would be a great use for them, a use that would reduce their radioactivity and the cost to dispose of them. The cost to produce a diamond is a lot less than disposing of nuclear waste.
Dr. Neil Fox from Bristol’s School of Chemistry further explained that carbon-14 was chosen as a source material because it emits a short-range radiation (a beta particle which is essentially the nucleus’ version of an electron), that is quickly absorbed by any solid material. Held within a diamond, such short-range radiation cannot escape, especially since we put a thin layer of non-radioactive diamond on the outside. Since diamond is the hardest substance known to humans, there is literally nothing we could use that could offer more protection.
These radioactive diamond batteries would have a very specific purpose – low power and extremely long life. A standard twenty-gram non-rechargeable AA battery stores about 13,000 Joules and will run out of power in about 24 hours of continuous operation. One diamond with one gram of carbon-14 would produce 15 Joules per day, much less than an AA battery.
But the power output of the diamond battery is continuous and doesn’t stop. The radioactive diamond battery would still be putting out 50% power after 5,730 years, which is one half-life of carbon-14 or about as long as human civilization has existed. During this time, the diamond battery would have produced over 20 million Joules. And would produce another 10 million during the next 5,730 years.
So these batteries would be useful in situations where you could not, or would rather not, replace the battery, such as in pacemakers or in spacecraft and satellites.
The stress in our changing energy world to find new batteries is producing a whole new set of innovations. But wait until we discuss vanadium flow batteries next week...
Here are the leaders the global 1% who a few decades pushed policy to move nuclear waste from around the world to Foreign Economic Zones in UK ---US ---China for new nuclear bomb-making ---and these INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS.
Just as with the policy of bringing our global MUSLIM labor pool to US and then creating SCARE TACTICS----FEAR MONGERING from the far-right wing that now US citizens had to fear Muslim terrorism inside US------now these same global 1% leaders are telling WE THE PEOPLE all that movement of nuclear waste around the world to UK, US, China has now lifted the fears of DIRTY BOMBS INSIDE THESE NATIONS.
There's Obama----Start Treaty nuclear race top gun now meeting to discuss all these fears.
We had secure nuclear waste facilities around the world---it was not until CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA that funding to secure these facilities dried and policy moving this waste to facilities having no oversight and accountability ----SUPER-SIZED THESE DANGERS. It is the same as dumping billions of dollars of US military arms in Middle-East nations and then being mad as heck there are TERRORISTS who get those arms.
SAME THING---ALL DELIBERATE.
Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins are of course those global IVY LEAGUES having defunded security at these nuclear waste sights----allowed them to become dangerous---they are the ones writing policies to move nuclear waste to these Foreign Economic Zones in UK, US, China----and now they sit around a table saying ----IT'S THOSE ISLAMIC TERRORISTS AGAIN.
All of this simply is used as a reason to dismantle all personal freedoms---privacy of US citizens in the MOVING FORWARD TO ONE WORLD US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES-----the REAL problem for WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% IS HAVING ALL THIS NUCLEAR WASTE---ALL THESE RARE EARTH MINERALS coming through our ports, cities, communities with a completely deregulated, void of oversight and accountability LOCAL, STATE, AND FEDERAL AGENCIES.
Leaders to discuss 'dirty bomb’ worries at nuclear summit
US President Barack Obama takes part in a bilateral meeting with China's President Xi Jinping Credit: Mandel Ngan /AFP
31 March 2016 • 8:53pm
David Cameron joined world leaders at a nuclear summit in Washington on Thursday to agree a global response to any nuclear attack by Islamic State in the wake of the Brussels bombings.
Since the last Nuclear Security Summit in 2014 the threat from Isil has soared with terrorist atrocities in Paris, California, Belgium, Pakistan and elsewhere, killing hundreds.
While senior UK government sources say there is no “credible evidence” the group has targeted nuclear sites yet there is a growing concern about the security of facilities across the globe.
In a string of announcements ahead of his visit to Washington, David Cameron pledged £10m to help boost security of nuclear plants worldwide and join with the America to war game possible threats from cyber attacks at home.
Arriving at the summit, Mr Cameron said: "We know that the terrorists we face today would like to kill as many people as they possibly could, using whatever materials they can get their hands on.
"Obviously the security of nuclear materials for those countries with nuclear programs is incredibly important. That's why this conference, like previous conferences, will make sure we have proper security for those nuclear materials. Not just in Britain, where we're quite a global leader, but all over the world.
"There will be very important actions announced at this conference. It's about making sure our world is safe and secure, and we're not at risk from terrorists coming together with nuclear materials."
In the wake of last week’s Brussels attacks that killed 32 people Belgian media reported the alleged suicide bombers had video footage of the home of a senior official at a Flanders nuclear waste facility.
A senior government source said: "You saw just last week in Belgium concerns that were raised around the security of civil nuclear sites and therefore, in the world in which we currently live, we think it's the right thing to do."
A new report from a Harvard academic has also raised the prospect of Isil searching out nuclear material to perpetrate a terrorist atrocity that matches their extremist rhetoric.
The report from the Project on Managing the Atom at Harvard’s Belfer Center warns of three possible scenarios: detonating a nuclear bomb, sabotaging a facility or using an explosion to spread radioactive material – what’s known as a “dirty bomb”.
At the Washington DC gathering a special session on Friday will focus on preventing Isil and other extremists from obtaining nuclear materials and attacking urban areas.
More than 50 countries and international organizations are attending the summit, however Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be in attendance amid tensions with Washington.
The fact that the country that has more nuclear weapons than any other – including the US – will not be round the table dents the chance of long-lasting gains at the last of President Obama’s nuclear summits before he leaves office early next year.
Away from concerns over Isil, President Obama is also holding talks with South Korea and Japan amid growing fears of North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
"The international community must remain united in the face of North Korea's continued provocations, including its recent nuclear test and missile launches," Mr Obama wrote in an op-ed on Thursday in The Washington Post.
Mr Obama was also due to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping late on Thursday to discuss co-operation over nuclear safety as well as smoothing over tension about cybersecurity.
Mr Cameron was expecting to hold bi-lateral talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
On the eve of the summit Britain announced the largest ever shipment of nuclear waste from the UK to the US in a move that will see uranium eventually converted into cancer-treating drugs.
The UK will transport 700kg of highly enriched uranium to the US from the Dounreay storage facility in Scotland, while a different form of nuclear waste will be moved from America to European Atomic Energy agency (Euratom) and turned into radio isotopes used to detect and diagnose cancer.
Environmentalists have raised concerns about the plans. Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: "Only the nuclear industry could think it was a good idea to risk swapping large quantities of one of the most dangerous materials on the planet across the Atlantic.
"Nuclear waste should be dealt with as close to where it is produced as possible rather than risking transporting it in ships or planes. The consequences of an accident during transit would be horrific."
Anyone with one ounce of common sense knows the comment below is true-----we are dealing with global 1% and their 2% SOCIOPATHS---having no connection to humanity. They are able to BUY THOSE GLOBAL WALL STREET 5% to the 1% PLAYERS LIVING FOR TODAY.
'Environmentalists have raised concerns about the plans. Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: "Only the nuclear industry could think it was a good idea to risk swapping large quantities of one of the most dangerous materials on the planet across the Atlantic.
"Nuclear waste should be dealt with as close to where it is produced as possible rather than risking transporting it in ships or planes. The consequences of an accident during transit would be horrific."'
The nuclear waste is ITSELF a DIRTY BOMB. One does not have to do anything to have it be harmful----to create radiation disasters in our US cities and towns. Just transporting it creates the conditions of DIRTY BOMB. So, if there is A HAZARDOUS DISASTER involving nuclear waste transport-----WE THE PEOPLE must know how to respond to DIRTY BOMBS----as regards evacuation and as regards protecting our health and treating public health exposure BECAUSE OUR US CITY PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENTS will not be able to address all this.
Our Baltimore City Council and Mayor PUGH along with our Maryland Assembly CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA have been passing laws these few decades creating these very, very, very , very bad public health conditions---they don't care.
The Difference Between a Dirty
Bomb and a Nuclear Explosion
Dirty bombs are radiological dispersion devices.
That means they can spread radioactive material,
but they do not create an atomic or nuclear
explosion. Nuclear weapons involve a complex
nuclear reaction that causes widespread damage
thousands of times more devastating than a dirty
The Impact of a Dirty Bomb
The damage caused by a dirty bomb depends on the
type and quantity of the explosives used, the
radioactive material in the bomb, and weather
conditions, especially wind speed and direction. In
most cases, any immediate deaths or serious injuries
would result from the explosion itself rather than
radiation exposure. Because the explosion spreads
radiation into the air, it may be weakened to
relatively low concentrations.
It is unlikely that a low dosage of radiation would
result in any immediate deaths. People near the blast
could suffer from radiation sickness and might
require hospital care.
Beyond the potential casualties inflicted at the
explosion site, the biggest concern about a dirty
bomb is its ability to cause panic and fear. For
example, the need to evacuate an urban area would
cause significant disruption. In addition, the area
struck might be off-limits
for several months during
cleanup efforts, which could damage a local
economy and reinforce public fears about being near
a radioactive area.
(See other side)
Santa Clara County Preparations
Because of ongoing concerns about potential
terrorist attacks, the U.S. government is working
to improve overall preparation against terrorism.
This preparation includes learning more about
protecting ourselves against possible attacks.
If a public health emergency happens in our
community, the Santa Clara County Public
Health Department will be the local agency
responsible for preparing and guiding medical
response and public information efforts. During
such an emergency, a critical role of the Public
Health Department will be to work with other
local first responders, such as fire and police.
The Public Health Department will also
coordinate response activities with state and
This information is being provided to help you
understand what a dirty bomb is and what
response you may be asked to take in the
unlikely event of a dirty bomb explosion.
What is a “Dirty Bomb”?
A dirty bomb is a bomb that contains radioactive
materials. Using an explosive such as dynamite,
the bomb spreads radioactive materials into the
area around the explosion. A dirty bomb kills or
injures through the initial blast and possibly
through airborne radiation. The main purpose
of using a dirty bomb is to frighten people and
create disruption by making buildings or land
near the site of the explosion unusable until a
complete cleanup takes place.
If you have any questions about dirty bombs,
please contact the
Public Health Information
Line at 408.885.3980
. Public Health
Department staff members are available to
answer your questions Monday to Friday from 9
a.m. to 4 p.m.
For information about putting together an
Emergency Preparation Plan, visit the
Department of Homeland Security site at
www.ready.gov. Also, see the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention’s Web site at
for additional information.
How to Respond to a Dirty Bomb
Emergency officials will assess the scene and
damage of an explosion. Emergency
announcements on the radio and television will
give instructions, including what steps to follow
to protect your health.
If you were exposed to a dirty bomb explosion,
it is important to remember to:
• Reduce the time spent near the source of the
• Increase your distance from the source.
• Increase the shielding between you and the
Shielding can be anything. Depending on the
level of radioactive materials used, a plate glass
window to several feet of concrete can create a
protective barrier between you and the radiation
How to Limit Radioactive
If you were exposed to radiation, remove your
clothes as quickly as possible and put them in a
sealed plastic bag. This will reduce your
exposure to radiation and remove most of the
contamination caused by radioactive materials.
Take a shower or wash as thoroughly as you can
with lukewarm water. Washing will effectively
reduce exposure to radiation. Listen to the radio
for information and instructions on how to get
rid of any contaminated item
All literature written on nuclear waste disasters are spun around TERRORISM AND DIRTY BOMBS. As with those 1% Japanese executives that ran after Japan's nuclear disaster from total neglect of maintenance and oversight and accountability having NO DISASTER PLANS---as in US Foreign Economic Zones----they don't care ---we will simply send in 99% of citizens to face the dangers of BAD PUBLIC POLICY.
The decision of Japan's elderly to sacrifice their own lives to try to mitigate those nuclear disasters came because they cared about family--community-----
WE ARE NOT LIVING IN A DEVELOPED NATION WITH LIBERTY, FREEDOM, AND PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS WHEN THE 5% TO THE 1% WE ALLOW BE LEADERS HAVE NO PLAN.
Glboal Johns Hopkins' only connection with public health is surveys leading to policy that allows global corporations to profit from 99% of citizens. Hopkins is the source of these bad nuclear waste policies AND it is the source of control of all Baltimore City agencies and pols creating the worst of public health policy.
The survey was available online to all 18,612 employees of the Johns Hopkins Hospital from January to March 2009.
We don't look at research done by far-right wing corporate universities like Hopkins as a sign of concern----we look at surveys like this as a tool for MOVING FORWARD the protection of global 1%.
Characterizing Hospital Workers' Willingness to Respond to a Radiological Event
Terrorist use of a radiological dispersal device (RDD, or “dirty bomb”), which combines a conventional explosive device with radiological materials, is among the National Planning Scenarios of the United States government. Understanding employee willingness to respond is critical for planning experts. Previous research has demonstrated that perception of threat and efficacy is key in the assessing willingness to respond to a RDD event.
An anonymous online survey was used to evaluate the willingness of hospital employees to respond to a RDD event. Agreement with a series of belief statements was assessed, following a methodology validated in previous work. The survey was available online to all 18,612 employees of the Johns Hopkins Hospital from January to March 2009.
Surveys were completed by 3426 employees (18.4%), whose demographic distribution was similar to overall hospital staff. 39% of hospital workers were not willing to respond to a RDD scenario if asked but not required to do so. Only 11% more were willing if required. Workers who were hesitant to agree to work additional hours when required were 20 times less likely to report during a RDD emergency. Respondents who perceived their peers as likely to report to work in a RDD emergency were 17 times more likely to respond during a RDD event if asked. Only 27.9% of the hospital employees with a perception of low efficacy declared willingness to respond to a severe RDD event. Perception of threat had little impact on willingness to respond among hospital workers.
Radiological scenarios such as RDDs are among the most dreaded emergency events yet studied. Several attitudinal indicators can help to identify hospital employees unlikely to respond. These risk-perception modifiers must then be addressed through training to enable effective hospital response to a RDD event
We spent the past few days showing there is NO PUBLIC SAFETY procedures implemented in Baltimore. Every stage of what should be oversight and accountability is flawed and corrupted. The next concern we want to make is this: The Affordable Care Act consolidated health systems into profiteering, predatory global health corporations---LIKE JOHNS HOPKINS-----and in doing this they have moved from each hospital in our US cities doctors and staff most knowledgeable in RADIATION TREATMENT AND EFFECTS AND DIAGNOSIS. We now have CANCER CENTERS in Indiana or elsewhere where citizens are being flown for treatment. This is simply a breakdown of what was a strong, broadly staffed system of hospitals---including our PUBLIC HOSPITALS having lots of staff on hand with knowledge to address such a hazardous disaster.
No doubt Hopkins has those doctors but as with all health care today----only enough staff to help that 5% to the 1%----soon to be that global 1% and their 2%.
The conditions today are ----99% of citizens will be told there are no effective sights or staff to treat such an hazardous disaster. Hopkins is very clear----it will protect its people-----employees or students ---by funneling all Federal, state, and local revenue to building these protections for themselves.
JOHNS HOPKINS BLOOMBERG SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH KNOWS THIS.
So, if you are trying to REDUCE POPULATION -----taking away food access ====leaving fresh water contaminated====leaving no available housing for 99% of US city citizens------AND exposing the 99% to these nuclear waste DIRTY BOMB transports would be that tool---it is indiscriminate----BLACK, WHITE, BROWN 99% OF CITIZENS ARE EXPOSED TO THESE BUILT-IN FAILURES.
'Links received his doctorate in environmental health sciences from the Bloomberg School in 1983 and joined the faculty as an assistant professor right after graduation. In addition to his roles in Environmental Health Sciences, he has joint appointments in the Bloomberg School's Department of Health Policy and Management, the School of Medicine's departments of Radiology and Emergency Medicine, and the School of Education's Division of Public Safety Leadership'.
Johns Hopkins' chief worrywart
Nobody is more prepared for an emergency than Jonathan Links
Image credit: Will Kirk / Homewood Photography
By Greg Rienzi
/ Published Dec 2012A small plunger stands upright on Jonathan Links' office desk. Links has a story for it. He has many stories.
Last year, Links had to bow out of an annual dinner of Bloomberg School of Public Health division directors within his department due to a household plumbing emergency. The meeting was postponed.
The next day, a colleague taped the plunger to his office door as a gag. "He wanted to tease me for being the cause of the postponement," says Links, a professor and deputy chair of Environmental Health Sciences at the Bloomberg School. "I thought it would be funny to keep it."
Funny, and more than a touch ironic. Perhaps nobody is more prepared for an emergency than Links, chair of the university's Committee on Crisis Management and Johns Hopkins' unofficial chief worrywart.
For those who know Links, the postponement should come as no surprise. It's not a brainstorming session or big-think party without Links in attendance.
For a decade now, Links has been Johns Hopkins' go-to man on emergency and crisis planning. Name the event—H1N1 outbreak, gunman at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, earthquake—and Links has played a role directly or indirectly in the response, and the hindsight thinking that followed.
His fingerprints can be found on nearly every crisis-related group, activity, and protocol throughout Johns Hopkins. A visionary thinker, Links has helped the university and health system stay ahead of an ever-evolving curve.
Friends and colleagues describe him as honest, smart, direct, visionary, and an eloquent speaker. Above all, people trust and value his perspective and counsel. For proof, look no further than his business card. He has more titles than the Boston Celtics.
In addition to his academic positions and his role with the Committee on Crisis Management, Links is deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (known as CEPAR), director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health Preparedness, co-chair of the Student Crisis Committee, and senior adviser to the senior vice president for finance and administration and the provost for university crisis and risk management.
For a man with so much influence, Links remains humble and unassuming. He looks and talks every part the professor, with an uncanny ability to dissect and elucidate complex subjects. He possesses essential tremors in both hands, which seem to move in time with his rapid thoughts.
Links received his doctorate in environmental health sciences from the Bloomberg School in 1983 and joined the faculty as an assistant professor right after graduation. In addition to his roles in Environmental Health Sciences, he has joint appointments in the Bloomberg School's Department of Health Policy and Management, the School of Medicine's departments of Radiology and Emergency Medicine, and the School of Education's Division of Public Safety Leadership.
The San Francisco native and lifelong academic says that he got into the emergency-response business just after 9/11.
Peter Beilenson, a Bloomberg School alum and then Baltimore City health commissioner, called to tap Links to help the city with radiation terrorism preparedness. Links, an expert on medical imaging and radiation physics, says he couldn't say no to a friend.
"I told Peter I'd help, and then immediately after I hung up the phone I Googled dirty bombs," he says with a smirk. "My whole career up until that point was medical imaging. I didn't know what dirty bombs were all about."
Links began to work part time with the Baltimore City Health Department and within weeks was designing protocols and hosting training sessions with first responders on such topics as ionizing radiation and what to do when a suspicious package arrives at City Hall.
"And all the while I'm going, this is really interesting and fulfilling," he says. "I was out there doing really practical stuff. You can't be an ivory tower egghead about these sorts of things. And you're not dealing with doctoral students, so you can't just give a School of Public Health class lecture to firefighters and police officers. I just found it really fulfilling to drill down to the operational essence of stuff."
A year after Links started working with the Health Department, Al Sommer, then dean of the Bloomberg School, asked him to lead an effort to respond to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention request for proposals for national centers of public health preparedness. The centers would provide national coverage and training for first responders and emergency management.
Johns Hopkins secured a grant, and the Johns Hopkins Center of Public Health Preparedness was created in 2004. Since then, the center, under Links' leadership, has trained more than 60,000 people.
In 2006, Links began his association with CEPAR, an organization created two years earlier to marshal JHU expertise on crisis response and preparedness and cut across the university and health system.
CEPAR at the time was working on an institutionwide avian flu (H5N1) plan. Links, who had helped craft a pandemic flu plan for the Bloomberg School, was to become the school's CEPAR representative.
Links says he immediately hit it off with CEPAR Director Gabor Kelen, who just months later would ask him to be CEPAR deputy director.
In his new role, Links set out to bring the university and health system more into balance on crisis response. He would regularly attend the universitywide Committee on Crisis Management meetings as the CEPAR representative.
Once again, Links made a good impression.
Kristina Johnson, who was provost at the time, asked Links to take over the Committee on Crisis Management, where he instantly became a transformational figure.
The committee, which was founded in 1998 and had met quarterly to share best practices, began to meet monthly and work on new response procedures. Specifically, Links wanted the university to become compliant with FEMA's National Incident Management System, a standardized structure and protocol system that came as a direct result of 9/11 and the subsequent commission that looked into the response to the attacks.
"Before NIMS, fire and police could not talk to each other. It's kind of mind-boggling," he says. "What NIMS does is institute the same command structure and position titles across enterprises. A commander of police and a commander of a fire department, for example, have different roles. You don't know if you're talking to lower management, mid-management, or the person in charge. If we're not talking the same language, there is the danger of a giant disconnect in coordination to a response. My platform as the new chair was the need to become NIMS compliant."
One of Links' first steps as chair was to abolish the university's Crisis Response Team, a handpicked group of representatives from across Johns Hopkins divisions who were involved with responding to critical events.
"The Crisis Response Team was logical in the beginning, but the group was a collection of people without formalized individualized roles and a structure," he says. "What happens if one person is away on vacation or leaves the university? Who steps in?"
Links championed the implementation of an Incident Command System and unified command at Johns Hopkins. Today, every school, campus, and component of the health system has an ICS, with an identical organization chart within a unified multitiered structure.
The system played a direct and effective role, he says, in the immediate and coordinated response to the incident at The Johns Hopkins Hospital on Sept. 16, 2010, when a gunman, upset over news about his mother's medical condition, opened fire, wounding a doctor before fatally shooting his mother and then turning the gun on himself.
In the wake of the shootings, faculty, staff, and students were reminded to subscribe to the university's Emergency Alert text message system for receiving vital information in the event of a life-threatening emergency, a system that Links helped expand to every school and campus.
He also played an important role in expanding the Student Crisis Committee, which began as an informal Homewood "What If?" committee, headed by Susan Boswell, dean of student life. Today, the committee, which Links co-chairs, involves representatives from all the academic divisions and meets regularly to discuss issues that could impact students.
A lover of stories, Links jumps into a favorite: one about the university's response to the H1N1 outbreak in 2009.
Links, who regularly shuttles between campuses to attend meetings on any given day, found himself at Homewood on the spring day when news broke of the first H1N1 cases. Links walked to the office of Scott Zeger, then interim provost, to offer his support and advice.
"I asked someone at the front desk if I could have two minutes with Scott. But Scott hears my voice and runs out, 'Jon, get in here.' I started to tell him how I was here to help you, and he goes, 'Are you kidding me? You're going to sit here in my vice provost's office for however long it takes to get through H1N1.' I was like, what? My head was spinning."
Links bunkered down in the empty office that day and got to work, organizing meetings and sketching a plan. While in the office, the phone rang.
"I was like, nobody knows I'm here," he says. "But I thought picking it up was the polite thing to do. Turns out, the phone was for me. Ron Daniels, who just became president a week prior mind you, wanted to see me immediately. I'm a fairly confident guy, but I remember going up to his office door, which was closed, and tapping lightly with this wimpy knock."
Links sat down across from the president and served as sounding board and ideas man.
"We had a lot to consider. We had to think about the public health implications of this. I mean, the news just broke. What do you do? Do you cancel classes? What is the chain of command, and how do we coordinate a response? We had to talk through some really tricky issues." Links says that the university's response was immediate.
"Sure, we made some missteps along the way, but it was unbelievable how we had this down pat in just one week. On the fly, we worked out a whole procedure of communications and policies to mitigate the impact on all our campuses. The H1N1 response lasted for nearly six months, and controlled Links' life 24/7.
"It was the greatest and worst experience of my life rolled into one," he says. "It was the greatest of feelings because everyone pulled together and it was an amazing team effort. It was the worst because none of my professor and academic duties went away. I had a pretty full plate."
He still does.
More recently, Links has led the university's efforts to adopt an Institution Risk Management program that pools all the risks that face the university into one "unified bucket," as Links likes to call it. The bucket currently contains a list of 63 potential risks, largely crafted by Steve Dunham, who was then the university's general counsel and a vice president.
"As a starting point, we put down the entire ensemble of risks, such as earthquake, active shooter, downturn in enrollment, misconduct. Every type of risk we could imagine," he says. "We wanted to create one venue where all of the risks get considered, mitigated, and owned by the appropriate parties." The group that manages the Institution Risk Management program reports directly to the university's board of trustees.
In February 2011, Senior Vice President Daniel Ennis appointed Links to the new position of senior adviser on crisis and risk management activities, with a primary focus on organizational frameworks and structures for crisis and risk management, development of the university's Incident Command System, and operational processes for institutional risk assessment and risk management.
The position arose out of a need to harmonize existing crisis and risk management activities under a unified and coordinated organizational structure, and to facilitate the development and maintenance of institutional risk management activities and programs.
"Jon has been an extraordinary partner to me and to the provost," Ennis says. "We are very fortunate that, among his many responsibilities, he has been so committed to serving in this important risk and crisis leadership role for the university. Most recently, his judgment and expertise served the university very well throughout our preparations for and response to Hurricane Sandy. A critical ingredient to Jon's success," he said, "is that he balances a deep and action-oriented knowledge of risk and crisis management with a great appreciation for the fact that the university will often be in the position where it is important to take smart, carefully considered risks in order to best deliver on JHU teaching, research and service missions."
This September, Links also became chair of the Institutional Compliance Oversight Committee, so that Johns Hopkins can better coordinate and unify the university's risk management, compliance, and crisis management programs.
Links says that his professional evolution has become the university's story of progression in formalizing risk and crisis management.
Kelen, chair of the School of Medicine's Department of Emergency Medicine as well as director of both CEPAR and the Center for the Study of Preparedness and Catastrophic Event Response, says that Links has several "amazing" personality traits that have made him the perfect choice for every appointment.
"One, Jon is an awfully nice and engaging guy who connects well with everyone he comes into contact with," Kelen says. "He's also as honest as the day is long. He's deliberate, humble, and a great communicator who can get his point across. And he's not intimidated by the situation or who might be in the room. He has a presence about him, and people trust him and his authority."
Not surprisingly, the much-in-demand Links gets brought into numerous meetings and conference calls. Kelen describes Links' energy in these settings as infectious.
"He's not a wallflower in meetings," he says. "He speaks his mind, but he's very diplomatic. He doesn't mind if you disagree. He can view things from the 40,000-foot level and the one-foot level. Some people are big-vision thinkers, and some people are doers. He is both."
Of all his colleague's accomplishments, Kelen says that perhaps Links' greatest achievement is getting top administration to buy into crisis preparation at a high level, realizing that all involved must have faith in the plan and relinquish some degree of control when a situation occurs. They, like him, have to step back and let the designated responders handle their roles.
For his part, Links says that loving what he does helps.
To keep himself sane, he rarely brings work home during the week. He only recently got a smartphone, and keeps his meeting schedule on paper, in a small agenda book.
Despite the demands on his time related to emergency planning, Links wants to continue teaching and his research on both emergency preparedness and medical imaging. He's currently the principal investigator on three CDC preparedness grants and the co-principal investigator on an NIH imaging grant slated to start soon.
"I have a lot of energy and try to be very efficient with my time during the day," he says. "At night, I like to unwind and watch TV or a movie. I sleep well because I worked my butt off during the day. A person recently asked me how I handle my job and all these unthinkable scenarios I'm asked to address. I told him I think it's an advantage for this role to be a worrywart. I get paid to be one."
One of the INNOVATIVE products designed by global Wall Street for those pesky small nuclear bombs central in the START TREATY retooling of our nuclear arsenal involves RDD. It was global Wall Street who designed and manufacture RDD as part of this US nuclear arsenal upgrade. We are sure Johns Hopkins was involved in these INNOVATIONS and we are sure Maryland is building these small nuclear weapons using RDD TECHNOLOGY.
We also know that global Johns Hopkins as with all our hedge fund IVY LEAGUES have eliminated all developed nation CLINICAL TRIALS for all medical devices, procedures, and PHARMA and are now simply using the general public as TEST CASES. This is far-right wing global Wall Street CORPORATE UNIVERSITIES vs our last century public interest public research universities which of course would DO THE OPPOSITE.
TERRORISTS did not build these RDD-----global Wall Street did. Now, WE THE PEOPLE the 99% are being told terrorists have that nuclear waste=====they have these RDD dispersal devices-----all filling our US global factories building small nuclear DIRTY BOMBS.
Radiological Dispersal Devices (RDD) / Dirty Bombs
Radiological dispersal devices (RDD), also known as "dirty bombs," consist of radioactive material combined with conventional explosives. They are designed to use explosive force to disperse the radioactive material over a large area, such as multiple city-blocks. Around the world, there are many sources of radioactive material that are not secure or not accounted for. Rogue nations and/or terrorist groups can obtain these materials for dirty bombs. These explosive weapons may initially kill a few people in the immediate area of the blast but are used primarily to produce psychological rather than physical harm by inducing panic and terror in the target population. Their use would also result in costly cleanup for decontamination.
'Dr. Eric Toner, a senior associate at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Center for Biosecurity in Baltimore, said the key to protecting as many people as possible during an emergency is offering them frank communication about what is known and unknown'
If we KNOW US nuclear facilities have been allowed to degrade in safety and disaster capability---if we KNOW START TREATY has already started levels of nuclear testing happening without our knowledge-----that small nuclear DIRTY BOMBS are being manufactured by our US military contracting facilities---if we KNOW all this transport from port to facility and back has little to no oversight and accountability with global corporations being told to SELF-REGULATE-----WE THE PEOPLE KNOW from where that DIRTY BOMB disaster will come in all LIKELIHOOD.
Here in Baltimore during that global FLU EPIDEMIC where the Center for Disease Control told US citizens they didn't have enough vaccine-----the distribution of that vaccine went to GLOBAL IVY LEAGUE CAMPUSES, global Wall Street, and what was left was sent to private GLOBAL PHARMACY OUT-PATIENT. Our community clinic centers---our public school children never had access. This is the health disaster structure being built and it will include nuclear/toxic chemical disaster relief.
Here in Baltimore during that global FLU EPIDEMIC where the Center for Disease Control told US citizens they didn't have enough vaccine-----the distribution of that vaccine went to GLOBAL IVY LEAGUE CAMPUSES, global Wall Street, and what was left was sent to private GLOBAL PHARMACY OUT-PATIENT. Our community clinic centers---our public school children never had access. This is the health disaster structure being built and it will include nuclear/toxic chemical disaster relief.
We hear in Baltimore from those pesky 5% to the 1% that everyone must rush to work for these global hedge fund IVY LEAGUE campuses in order to have jobs---in order to be protected from one massive fraud after the other----here we have the issue of being protected during hazardous waste disasters----Johns Hopkins and Ivy Leagues ARE ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE ONE SUSTAINABLE ECO-DOME FOR THE GLOBAL 1% ----they will be filling these campuses with global labor pool 99% -----not WE THE PEOPLE. LET'S JUST GET RID OF GLOBAL WALL STREET CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA---NOW TRUMP AND THEIR 5% TO THE 1%.
U.S. Health Care System Unprepared for Major Nuclear Emergency
A Los Angeles police officer in a hazard suit keeps watch in a "hazardous material hot area" after the explosion of a "dirty bomb" during a simulated attack at a Port of Los Angeles dock on Aug. 5, 2004. (David McNew/Getty Images)
by Sheri Fink, Special to ProPublica, April 7, 2011, 11 a.m.
U.S. officials say the nation's health system is ill-prepared to cope with a catastrophic release of radiation, despite years of focus on the possibility of a terrorist "dirty bomb" or an improvised nuclear device attack.
A blunt assessment circulating among American officials says "Current capabilities can only handle a few radiation injuries at any one time." That assessment, prepared by the Department of Homeland Security in 2010 and stamped "for official use only," says "there is no strategy for notifying the public in real time of recommendations on shelter or evacuation priorities."
The Homeland Security report, plus several other reports and interviews with almost two dozen experts inside and outside the government, reveal other gaps that may increase the risks posed by a nuclear accident or terrorist attack.
One example: The U.S. Strategic National Stockpile stopped purchasing the best-known agent to counter radioactive iodine-induced thyroid cancer in young people, potassium iodide, about two years ago and designated the limited remaining quantities "excess," according to information provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ProPublica. Despite this, the CDC website still lists potassium iodide as one of only four drugs in the stockpile specifically for use in radiation emergencies.
The drug is most effective when administered before or within hours of exposure. The decision to stop stockpiling it was made, in part, because distribution could take too long in a fast-moving emergency, one official involved in the discussions said. The interagency group that governs the stockpile decided that "other preparedness measures were more suitable to mitigate potential exposures to radioactive iodine that would result from a release at a nuclear reactor," a CDC spokesperson said in an email to ProPublica.
Japan's ongoing nuclear crisis may prompt officials to revisit that conclusion. With radiation levels higher than expected outside the evacuation zones in some areas, the Japanese government recently asked the United States for potassium iodide. The federal government agreed to send some of its dwindling stockpile of the liquid version used in children or adults, which is due to reach its expiration date within about a year. The government is currently "finalizing the paperwork," according to an official with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Another example: While hospitals near nuclear power plants often drill for radiological emergencies, few hospitals outside of that area practice such drills. Most medical personnel are untrained and unfamiliar with the level of risk posed by radiation, whether it is released from a nuclear power plant, a "dirty" bomb laced with radioactive material, or the explosion of an improvised nuclear weapon. A dirty bomb would cause major damage at the scene but spread little radiation. The explosion of a nuclear weapon would devastate the surrounding area and create radioactive fallout.
Many states don't have a basic radiation emergency plan for communicating with the public or responding to the health risks. Even something as fundamental as the importance of sheltering inside sturdy buildings to avoid exposure to radioactive fallout from a nuclear explosion -- which experts say could determine whether huge numbers of people live or die -- hasn't been communicated to the public.
Recently the White House and other federal officials concerned about deficiencies in public readiness met with experts to explore what might be done to make nuclear events more survivable. "The bottom line is that the citizenry are not prepared at all," said Michael McDonald, president of Global Health Initiatives, who participated in White House and congressional briefings.
The Department of Homeland Security report acknowledges that officials are poorly prepared to communicate with the public and that the current organization of medical care "does not support the anticipated magnitude of the requirements" following an attack with an improvised nuclear device. It says the United States has "limited" treatment options for radiation exposure and notes that staff and materials aren't in place to carry out mass evacuations after a large-scale release of radiation. "The requirements to monitor, track, and decontaminate large numbers of people have not been identified," the report said. The Department of Homeland Security has convened groups to work on filling the gaps.
Underlying the preparedness problems is the need for additional research. It isn't known, for example, how a nuclear blast and electromagnetic pulse would affect modern communications infrastructure, or to what extent modern buildings can protect people from nuclear blast, heat and radiation effects.
A report prepared last year by the Council on State and Territorial Epidemiologists was equally pessimistic about U.S. readiness. Based on surveys of public health officials in 38 states, it concluded that "In almost every measure of public health capacity and capability, the public health system remains poorly prepared to adequately respond to a major radiation emergency incident." Forty-five percent of the states surveyed had no radiation plan at all for areas outside federally mandated nuclear power plant emergency zones. Almost 85 percent of the officials said their states couldn't properly respond to a radiation incident because of inadequate planning, resources, staffing and partnerships.
More troubling was the fact that the situation hasn't improved since a similar survey was taken in 2003. "Most of those comparisons appear to indicate either the same poor level of preparedness and planning or a decline in capacity," the report said.
The nation's investment in emergency preparedness seems likely to decrease rather than increase, experts say, because of massive federal and state deficits.
President Obama's proposed budget would cut funding for a federal hospital preparedness program by about 10 percent. The release of proposed federal regulations that would require hospitals to meet emergency management standards has been delayed.
"If the public isn't demanding that we be better prepared, the politicians won't put the money in for us to be better prepared and the regulators" won't require it, said Dr. Arthur Cooper, a professor of surgery at Columbia University and director of trauma and pediatric surgical services at Harlem Hospital Center. "It all begins with the public knowing this is a problem that's got to be solved and it's worth spending some money and effort to try to be prepared in a real way."
In the days after nuclear fuel at Japan's Fukushima power plant began to overheat, the greatest threat to one hospital within 50 miles of the plant wasn't radiation, but fear. Many staff members had fled, and government emergency workers hadn't delivered food and medicine needed for the 120 patients. Dr. Masaru Nakayama, director of Kashima Hospital in Iwaki, Japan, said it took time to convince people that the area around the hospital was in fact safe.
Yet in national surveys, U.S. hospital workers have expressed fears similar to those of Dr. Nakayama's staff, saying they would be less willing to report to work for a radiological or nuclear incident than for other types of emergencies. They also said they feel unprepared for the work they would be required to do, even though the risk of radiation exposure from treating contaminated patients outside the danger zone is considered negligible when workers are properly trained and wear protective equipment.
"The level of education for disasters across the board in American hospitals is really pretty terrible," said Dr. Cooper. "People don't have a good sense of how to focus on any disaster, let alone a radiation disaster. Radiation adds a level of complexity that most folks aren't prepared to face."
Cooper said hospital drills have improved in recent years, "but they occur far too seldom and they end far too quickly and they're far too superficial to really prepare a hospital for a major disaster."
"Shutting down part of the hospital's work for a period of time to conduct a full-scale exercise, that's daunting for a hospital," he said. "Trying to ‘do the right thing' and provide employees with in-depth disaster education across the board is not something they're going to do unless it becomes a major regulatory mandate."
Dr. William Fales, an associate professor of emergency medicine at Michigan State University and a regional medical director in southwest Michigan, said he has yet to see a hospital outside of a nuclear reactor's emergency planning zone conduct a drill for a nuclear or radiological emergency.
In the courses Fales teaches for medical professionals, he has seen firsthand what little baseline knowledge many of them have. In one exercise they are treating mock bombing victims when they are suddenly told that the explosive was a dirty bomb packed with radioactive material. Typically they drop everything, run the patients outside and remove their contaminated clothing. But that reflects a lack of knowledge of a basic principle—that medical workers should treat a patient's life-threatening traumatic injuries from a bomb blast before worrying about radiological decontamination.
"It's amazing," Fales said. "It's a kneejerk reaction because they hear the word ‘radiation.' … Imagine what would happen if, God forbid, we had a real terrorist bombing and a rumor started on TV that it was a dirty bomb. How many potentially salvageable trauma patients would be compromised by that reaction?"
Health workers made a different mistake at a recent radiation emergency conference sponsored by the CDC. When a workshop leader in a white decontamination suit asked nurses to practice cutting the garments off a mock contamination patient, one volunteer slid the scissors quickly from ankle to torso. That could send radioactive debris flying, the leader warned. The more careful approach took about two minutes—a long time if hundreds are awaiting assistance.
Knowing when a patient has been contaminated versus exposed to radiation is an important distinction that is acquired with simple training. "If you put a chicken in a microwave and cook it, it comes out a rubbery chicken, but it doesn't come out contaminated," Fales said. "It's been irradiated, but it's not radioactive."
Fales said few participants in his training courses think about doing a quick survey with a radiation detector to verify the existence of contamination. At many hospitals, most workers don't even know where the Geiger-Müller counter is kept.
Facing a Worst Case Emergency
The American Medical Association devoted the March issue of its journal, Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, to the No. 1 scenario on the federal government's list of 15 planning scenarios for emergency preparedness—a nuclear explosion equivalent to the force of a 10-kiloton trinitrotoluene (TNT) blast on a major population center.
Using Washington, D.C. as an example, one study estimated that 180,000 hospital beds could be needed after such a detonation and that 61,000 of those patients could require intensive care. But Washington typically has only about 1,000 vacant beds—and there are only about 9,400 vacant intensive care unit beds in the entire United States.
After a nuclear blast, hospitals would likely fill with trauma patients. Later, others would arrive with acute radiation syndrome, which can take days to manifest and affects multiple organ systems. Without supportive care, about 50 percent of people exposed to 3.5 Gray, a measure of radiation dose, would die. Proper care would almost double the exposure level at which 50 percent would survive, but only a small fraction of American medical professionals have training and expertise in treating radiation injury.
Given that not enough beds would be available, hospitals and first responders would have to choose which patients to save. Authors of the journal articles recommend basing those decisions in part on how much radiation exposure patients have received and treating only those with a reasonable chance of surviving. "It's very hard to turn someone away who needs medical care who comes to your hospital," Cooper said. "I don't think any American hospital is prepared to do this kind of triage."
The staff would be hampered by a shortage of the laboratory equipment needed to help evaluate so many patients, a lack of approved devices to rapidly quantify the level of radiation exposure, and a lack of approved medicines to counter the cellular effects of radiation. About $200 million in federal funding has been invested since 2008 to develop diagnostics and treatments, but HHS officials say most are still years away from approval.
Even getting the protective measures that do exist, including potassium iodide, where they are needed is a challenge. Michigan has developed a round-the-clock dispatch system with ready-to-go medical packs designed for a range of emergencies and stored at 16 sites around the state. Four of those sites stock radiological countermeasures.
"We think we're one of the few states that's really designed a statewide system that can deliver these countermeasures," Fales said. In the case of one particularly expensive drug provided by the federal government, "my sense is in a lot of states it's sitting in a warehouse in the state capital, hopefully secure and warm. On a Saturday night if something goes boom in a location on another side of the state, how long will it take to get it to where it's needed?"
Improving Future Response
One of the top priorities in preparing for a major nuclear disaster is readying ordinary citizens for the role they will have to play. "The common misperception is any nuclear blast means everybody's vaporized," McDonald said. "That's just wrong."
But experts say the government has done little to educate the public about its responsibilities.
When police and fire departments have run nuclear exercises in conjunction with federal authorities, "they haven't included the public," McDonald said. "They've basically treated it like a classified event."
The motivation may be to safeguard the public from fear and panic, McDonald said, but "it does almost no good for the federal government to be talking about this with the top officers and not have the public understand what to do." Although government websites including ready.gov and cdc.gov contain useful preparedness information, there is no single website the public can turn to for up-to-the-minute public health information in disasters.
One of the crucial things the public must know is when to evacuate and when to shelter underground or in a heavily constructed building. Yet making decisions on sheltering and evacuation and communicating those decisions to the public is precisely what the Homeland Security report found government agencies aren't inadequately prepared to do.
Sheltering in place could make a major difference in how many people live or die, because the danger of fallout decreases rapidly as radioactive elements decay and debris is dispersed. The dose rate drops 90 percent every seven hours.
"You can't wait until the event to put out this information," said Dr. James James, director of the American Medical Association's Center for Public Health Preparedness and Disaster Response.
Many experts predict that without more education, people would likely flee as many are doing in Tokyo and as many Americans did after the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979. An estimated 144,000 people—many times more than the number advised to do so—needlessly left the area due to fear and inadequate information.
"Such an exodus would extend panic and devastation far beyond the locus of the event, draining food, water, medicines, gasoline, and other resources from surrounding communities and potentially causing gridlock that would severely compromise many elements of the official disaster response," according to a modeling study published by University of Chicago researcher Michael Meit and colleagues in the same issue of the journal.
Not knowing what to do would be especially harmful to those who are least likely to be able get out of harm's way: children and the elderly, people with disabilities, and patients with chronic illnesses requiring regular treatment. The federal government enacted a number of reforms after elderly and disabled people died after Hurricane Katrina. But those reforms aren't necessarily reflected in critical front-line emergency plans. A federal court in California recently found the city of Los Angeles violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws for failing to consider the needs of the disabled in its emergency response plans.
Dr. Eric Toner, a senior associate at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Center for Biosecurity in Baltimore, said the key to protecting as many people as possible during an emergency is offering them frank communication about what is known and unknown.
"Nature abhors a vacuum. If credible officials aren't out there constantly, that void will get filled with people who don't know what they're talking about or have different agendas."
Still, there is no guarantee the public will act on information once they get it. Several years ago Michigan, like many other states, sent vouchers for potassium iodide to people living within a 10-mile radius of a nuclear power plant. The goal was to give them the medication free of charge from local pharmacies, so they wouldn't risk their lives searching for the drug in an emergency, when they should be sheltering in place or evacuating.
But only about 6 percent of the residents picked up their allotted supply, said Fales, the Michigan regional medical director, a rate that's similar to some other states. "So much for pre-event planning," he concluded.
ProPublica's Sasha Chavkin contributed to this report.
Clarification: We have added that the Department of Homeland Security has convened groups to work on the gaps identified in its preparedness report.
Oh yeah! CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA really worried about that terrorist dirty bomb attack-------it is our 5% to the 1% who are staging that nuclear waste disaster!
“Instead of safely secured in one place, it’s stored in thousands of places in urban locations all over the United States,” said Rick Jacobi, a nuclear waste consultant and former head of a Texas agency that unsuccessfully tried to create a disposal site for that state.
State and federal authorities say the waste is being monitored, but they acknowledge that it is difficult to track and inspected as little as once every five years. Government documents and dozens of Associated Press interviews with nuclear waste generators, experts, watchdogs and officials show that thousands of these small radioactive items have already been lost, and that worries are growing'.
Nuclear waste piling up at U.S. hospitals
No long-term disposal plan in place for millions of radioactive devices
Virginia Postic / AP
Waste is secured inside steel drums, encased in concrete vaults in an uncapped trench at Energy Solutions in Barnwell, S.C. A South Carolina law that took effect July 1 ended nearly all disposal of radioactive material at the landfill, leaving 36 states with no place to throw out such stuff.
updated 9/25/2008 4:12:56 PM ETBARNWELL, S.C. --
Tubes, capsules and pellets of used radioactive material are piling up in the basements and locked closets of hospitals and research installations around the country, stoking fears they could get lost or, worse, stolen by terrorists and turned into dirty bombs.
For years, truckloads of low-level nuclear waste from most of the U.S. were taken to a rural South Carolina landfill. There, items such as the rice-size radioactive seeds for treating cancer and pencil-thin nuclear tubes used in industrial gauges were sealed in concrete and buried.
But a South Carolina law that took effect July 1 ended nearly all disposal of radioactive material at the landfill, leaving 36 states with no place to throw out some of the stuff. So labs, universities, hospitals and manufacturers are storing more and more of it on their own property.
“Instead of safely secured in one place, it’s stored in thousands of places in urban locations all over the United States,” said Rick Jacobi, a nuclear waste consultant and former head of a Texas agency that unsuccessfully tried to create a disposal site for that state.
State and federal authorities say the waste is being monitored, but they acknowledge that it is difficult to track and inspected as little as once every five years. Government documents and dozens of Associated Press interviews with nuclear waste generators, experts, watchdogs and officials show that thousands of these small radioactive items have already been lost, and that worries are growing.
Flea markets and eBay; landfills and recycling plants
“They’ll end up offered up on eBay and flea markets and sent to landfills, or metal recycling plants — places where you don’t want them to be,” said Stephen Browne, radiation control officer at Troxler Electronic Laboratories, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial gauges that use radioactive material.
There are millions of radioactive devices in use for which there is no long-term disposal plan. These include tiny capsules of radioactive cesium isotopes implanted to kill cancerous cells; cobalt-60 pellets that power helmet-like machines used to focus radioactive beams on diseased brain tissue; and cobalt and powdered cesium inside irradiation machines that sterilize medical equipment and blood.
Most medical waste can simply be stored until its radioactivity subsides within a few years, then safely thrown out with the regular trash. Some institutions store their radioactive material in lead-lined safes, behind doors fitted with alarms and covered with yellow-and-black radiation warning signs.
Over the past decade, however, 4,363 radioactive sources have been lost, stolen or abandoned, according to a Nuclear Regulatory Commission report released in February. Though none of the material lost was rated “extremely dangerous” — meaning unshielded, up-close exposure can cause permanent injury within a few minutes and death within an hour — more than half the radioactive items were never recovered, the NRC said.
Since the Sept. 11 attacks, owners of dangerous amounts of radioactivity have been told by the government to take greater precautions, such as having 24-hour surveillance, erecting barriers and fingerprinting employees, regardless of whether the devices are in use or stored as waste.
Close to a crisis?
Yet in 2003, the federal Government Accountability Office reported there wasn’t even a record of how many radioactive sources existed nationwide. In June, the GAO concluded that while there has been progress, more must be done to track radioactive material to prevent it from falling into terrorists’ hands and ending up in a dirty bomb, or one that uses conventional explosives to scatter radiation.
“I don’t think we’re yet in crisis, but certainly there’s information out there to suggest we may be closer to that than is comfortable for me,” said Gregory Jaczko, a commissioner with the NRC, one of the agencies charged with tracking the material.
In 1987, four people died and hundreds fell ill after looters in Brazil found a cancer-therapy machine in an abandoned medical clinic and sold it as scrap metal. More recently, 19 small vials of cesium-137, implanted for cervical cancer treatments, disappeared in 1998 from a locked safe at Moses Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro, N.C. The tubes were never found and were believed stolen.
A terrorist would need to gather far more of those vitamin-sized capsules to create a dirty bomb capable of killing anyone within one city block, said Kelly Classic, a health physicist at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
For decades, the government urged states to build low-level nuclear waste landfills, either on their own or in cooperation with nearby states. But those efforts have run into strong not-in-my-backyard resistance of the sort that led South Carolina lawmakers to close the Barnwell County landfill to all but three states. Only one low-level landfill, in Utah, has opened in the past 30 years. One more could open in Texas by the end of next year, but it would accept trash from only Vermont and the Lone Star State.
The government never set up penalties for states that failed to build landfills.
“Congress should have gotten involved a long time ago,” said Richard Gallego, vice president of Thomas Gray and Associates Inc., a California company that prepares low-level waste for disposal.
Rich Janati, chief of nuclear safety for Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection, said: “It’s a national issue, and we should look at it as a national problem and come up with a solution.”
The government this week did move to shore up security by requiring hospitals and labs to better secure machines used to irradiate blood. Also, dirty-bomb fears have prompted the National Research Council to urge replacing the roughly 1,300 such machines in the U.S. with less hazardous but more expensive equipment.
Here is to what 99% of Baltimore citizens will be left for disaster relief just as all third world nations------WE THE PEOPLE must create our own plans as we fight to rebuild government FOR THE PEOPLE, OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE. These global IVY LEAGUE campus health systems are found in most US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones---like Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Those campuses were built on massive fraud and corruption and MUST BE DOWNSIZED AND BROKEN INTO OUR NEW PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEMS. Please stop allowing that global 1% tell 99% of WE THE PEOPLE we have NOTHING when in fact we have it all.
Baltimore is filling with global WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION NGOS----for 99% of Baltimore's citizens losing access to ordinary health care.
Doctors Without Borders Recruitment Info Session - Baltimore, MDPublic
· Hosted by MSF-USA Field Recruitment and Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
Put your ideals into practice!
Every day, Doctors Without Borders aid workers from around the world provide assistance to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe.
On Thursday, July 13, medical and non-medical professionals are invited to join us for an evening presentation to learn more about how you can join Doctors Without Borders’ pool of dedicated aid workers.
An aid worker and Field Human Resources Officer will discuss requirements and the application process, and you'll meet experienced Doctors Without Borders aid workers from the area and hear their firsthand stories of "life in the field."
The presentation will last 90 minutes, including Q&A.
'Baltimore Metro Counties Local EAS Plan
The following complies with the State of Maryland Emergency
Alert System (EAS) plan'
Let's talk about the movement of nuclear material through our US ports like Baltimore and what does RADIATION emissions do to public health. All this cargo is stored tightly in containers -----all this cargo is loaded CAREFULLY onto trucks and rail cars CAREFULLY----all this cargo moves through US cities ---tunnels and roads CAREFULLY so what's to worry?
All of these shipping industries are SELF-REGULATED----global Wall Street pols say DON'T BE BAD---and these global shipping and transportation corporations we are to believe are GOOD CORPORATE CITIZENS-----just like self-regulated global Wall Street.
As someone living in Baltimore's Charles Village right next to that CSX FREIGHT TUNNEL I just WANT TO KNOW.
Now, the first thing that catches MY EYE is this alert system designed to abide by FEDERAL FCC law. CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA have not abide by Federal FCC law these few decades. This is why we have FAKE NEWS---it is why we have rigged, crony elections--especially here in Baltimore. There is no Federal agency making sure these emergency systems are functioning. GLOBAL WALL STREET POLS AND PLAYERS ARE SIMPLY SAYING-----------------TRUST US.
We do indeed get emergency broadcast for severe weather----a text on cell phones-----our radio and TV do run those pesky warning scrolls forever---but this is NOT what citizens need for hazardous/toxic chemical emergencies. Know what the first thing on the mind of a global Wall Street CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA pol and player is?
HOW DO WE HIDE WHAT HAPPENED AND MAKE SURE IT SOUNDS NOT AS DANGEROUS AS IT IS.
Most of the transport and transfer is already illegal and these global Wall Street corporations will not want any evidence for legal damage. Think how Gulf oil spill unfolded---citizens along the coast did not know anything and knew the information they received was JUKED.
Baltimore Metro Counties Local EAS Plan
The following complies with the State of Maryland Emergency
Alert System (EAS) plan
filed with the Federal Communications Commission. The plan creates guidelines for following for activations of the Emergency Alert System by Maryland’s local jurisdictions.
This Local Area Plan provides procedures for activating the Emergency Alert System by authorized local government officials, by broadcasters and by cable operators. It provides broadcasters and emergency managers with guidance on how to send out and receive an EAS Alert.
Title 47 U.S.C. and Part 11 of the FCC Rules and Regulations, Radio
Broadcast Services, details the Emergency Alert System (EAS) as it pertains to daily emergency operations.
The State Emergency Communications Committee, in conjunction with federal, state and local emergency management officials, developed the procedures outlined in this plan. Local broadcasters and cable operators also participated.
The state EAS plan authorizes creation of a local EAS plan and permits local EAS operations to function until a local plan is approved.
Explanation of Changes:
With the creation of the Emergency Alert System, the FCC
changed the rules for broadcasters, allowing automation to replace manned operations for some, if not all, of the broadcast day. Because some operations now are unmanned,
local emergency officials should not rely on calls to broadcasters as the only method for communicating alert information out for transmission.
The governmental entity issuing the alert must activate the Emergency Alert System!
Emergency managers should rely on the Maryland
Joint Operations Center, rather than broadcasters, to assist with EAS activations.
Broadcasters must ensure that emergency messages regarding events affecting the life and safety of the broadcast audience are forwarded manually or automatically. They
should become familiar with these procedures and follow them whenever EAS is needed. By law, licensees who participate in this plan do not relinquish program control and may exercise discretion for all messages except presidential messages. As noted in Part 11 Rules, any use of the EAS Attention Signal confers automatic rebroadcast authority.
'All Hazards Mitigation Plan for the City of Baltimore
— Page i
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Introduction'
We don't have time to format but the point with this post is this-----all of the emergency planning is geared towards NATURAL DISASTERS. The word HAZARDS is tied to the results of those natural disasters--there is no mention of hazardous chemical disasters----no outline as to what citizens should do---we are all simply left to stare at a cell phone text or radio/TV news alert.
The citizens of Baltimore know as well our city agencies controlled by GLOBAL CORPORATIONS do not prepare at all for disasters. The disaster occurs----they get on the phone to call the entire East Coast east of the Mississippi to bring emergency vehicles and support----because BALTIMORE DOES NOT HAVE ANY OF THIS. What are dozens of cities and town in this same region doing? Calling for that same emergency vehicles and support.
The attitude of the far-right wing global Wall Street is this------the taxpayer money needed to buy and maintain emergency vehicles and support is WASTED--that revenue goes to grow global corporate profit. The 99% can just wait until that global emergency corporation handling disasters nationally gets time to come to Baltimore.
No doubt, Baltimore is now tied to GLOBAL FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE militarized security, global fire and rescue corporations----we are to assume they are prepared. The question from citizens in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina is ----how can the Federal government respond faster to disasters all the way around the world and not get to US communities? The answer is
DISASTERS ARE OPPORTUNITY TO GLOBAL WALL STREET 1% AND THEIR 5% PLAYERS.
All Hazards Mitigation Plan for the City of Baltimore
— Page i
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Introduction ......................................................................................................
About the City of Baltimore ............................................................................................... 3
Chapter Two: Natural Hazards in Baltimore City ..................................................................... 5
Flood Hazard Profile ................................................................................ 7
Hurricane Hazard Profile ................................................................................................. 11
Severe Thunderstorm Hazard Profile.............................................................................. 14
Winter Storm Hazard Profile ........................................................................................... 17
Extreme Heat Hazard Profile .......................................................................................... 19
Drought Hazard Profile............................................................................ 20
Earthquake and Land Movement Hazard Profile ............................................................ 21
Chapter Three: Vulnerability Assessment.............................................................................. 25
Flooding Vulnerability Assessment ................................................................................. 25
High Wind Vulnerability Assessment .............................................................................. 32
Winter Storm Vulnerability Assessment .......................................................................... 34
Extreme Heat Vulnerability Assessment ......................................................................... 35
Hazard Ranking ....................................................................................... 36
Chapter Four: Mitigation Strategies ........................................................................................ 37
Hazard Mitigation Goals ................................................................................. 37
Objectives and Strategies ............................................................................................... 38
Mitigation Strategy Priorities ........................................................................................... 44
Chapter Five: Monitoring and Evaluation ............................................................................... 49
Appendix A: Documentation of Adoption of the All-Hazards Plan................................... 52
Appendix B: Baltimore City Local Em
ergency Planning Committee (LEPC)................... 54
Appendix C: Elderly Residents and Tree Canopy ........................................................... 61
Appendix D: Map Inserts ................................................................................................. 66
Citizens in Maryland don't KNOW to where that nuclear waste from Russia and around the world coming into Baltimore's port is going but we can be sure some is heading to FT MEADE and its FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE ---GREATER FT MEADE DEVELOPMENT is GREATER BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT.
We are not going to state the obvious about the already existing nuclear waste damage as seen here in Hanford---we see around FT MEADE. We are talking about procedures and oversight and accountability at US PORTS----in US cities and counties where trucks and rail cars transport this nuclear waste to and from destinations. Below we see where that FREIGHT TUNNEL has collapsed and of course WORKERS are worried about radiation exposure as are CITIZENS living nearby.
Remember Japan's nuclear disaster where that global 1% COWARDS sent in senior Japanese citizens to address this most toxic cleanup as the JAPANESE nuclear agency executive evacuated to LONDON.
THIS IS THE SAME NUCLEAR WASTE PLAN IN PLACE IN US CITIZENS DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES LIKE BALTIMORE--WE KNOW BECAUSE THAT GLOBAL 1% JAPANESE WERE TRAINED BY US GLOBAL WALL STREET 1%----
Don't imagine just that HANFORD nuclear dump----imagine collapsing tunnel----exploding rail car or truck----an unexpected accident in transport.
'Hanford is the nation’s most polluted nuclear weapons production site. The site has been leaking radioactive waste on and off for years. The Energy Department claims no radioactive contamination has been reported so far from Tuesday’s tunnel collapse'.
The first thing a global Wall Street 5% to the 1% CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA will say is -----DON'T WORRY THE LEVELS OF RADIATION ARE NOT THAT BAD.
IT'S A FRAUD FACTORY------and Baltimore City is #1 in the nation for being that FRAUD FACTORY so we already know there is no nuclear hazardous chemical plan that looks to protect 99% of WE THE PEOPLE......
'And that’s the concern, is that the federal government spent trillions of dollars to make nuclear weapons, but it’s shortchanging us on the cleanup at these sites. It’s supposed to take years and years. The money is being stolen. It’s a fraud factory, in a way. And, you know, so the public is really getting shafted on this one'.
Workers Fear Radiation Exposure After Nuclear Waste Storage Tunnels Collapse
in WashingtonStoryMay 11, 2017 Democracy NOW
We are broadcasting from Washington state, where the Department of Energy declared a state of emergency at the Hanford nuclear site after a tunnel storing contaminated radioactive materials collapsed. The collapse, which was discovered Tuesday, forced hundreds of workers to take cover to avoid potential exposure. Hanford is the nation’s most polluted nuclear weapons production site. The site has been leaking radioactive waste on and off for years. The Energy Department claims no radioactive contamination has been reported so far from Tuesday’s tunnel collapse. But Edwin Lyman from the Union of Concerned Scientists said, "Collapse of the earth covering the tunnels could lead to a considerable radiological release." Now the Washington state Department of Ecology’s Nuclear Waste Program has announced on Twitter that it has taken legal action against Hanford. We speak with Tom Carpenter, executive director of Hanford Challenge, which advocates for workers at the Hanford nuclear site.
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to our last segment, and we continue to focus on what’s happening at a state and local level that’s happening all over the country. Next week, we’ll be traveling throughout California and broadcasting throughout there. You can check our website at democracynow.org to see where we’ll be. But right here in Washington state, where the Department of Energy declared a state of emergency at the Hanford nuclear site after a tunnel storing contaminated radioactive materials collapsed, is the subject of our last segment. The collapse, which was discovered Tuesday, forced hundreds of workers to take cover, to shelter in place, to avoid potential exposure. Local station KING 5 obtained this video from a worker describing the scene.
PA ANNOUNCER: All personnel report to their respective lunchrooms for further information and/or instruction. All personnel should refrain from eating or drinking until told it is safe to do so.
HANFORD WORKER: Well, so, it’s either a drill or an emergency. Gotta take cover.
AMY GOODMAN: Hanford is the nation’s most polluted nuclear weapons production site. The site has been leaking radioactive waste on and off for years. The Energy Department claims no radioactive contamination has been reported so far from Tuesday’s tunnel collapse. But Edwin Lyman from the Union of Concerned Scientists said, quote, "Collapse of the earth covering the tunnels could lead to a considerable radiological release," unquote. Well, now the state of Washington’s Department of Ecology’s Nuclear Waste Program has announced on Twitter it’s taken legal action against Hanford.
For more, we’re joined here in Seattle by Tom Carpenter, executive director of Hanford Challenge, which advocates for workers at the Hanford nuclear site.
Tom, welcome to Democracy Now! Explain what’s taken place. I mean, given what’s happening in Washington, D.C., there’s very little national awareness about what you’re dealing with here in Washington.
TOM CARPENTER: OK, so this is the nation’s most contaminated site. In the state of Washington here, it was built to make nuclear weapons and plutonium for those weapons. And now we’re left with this legacy of radioactive waste. And so, what recently happened on Tuesday morning was one of the facilities at the site suffered a collapse of a tunnel, holding vast quantities of very highly dangerous radioactive materials. Now, the government is saying that none of that escaped, except, you know, radiation itself into the sky, but no particles escaped. And so, now the question really remains is: Is that true? Were workers contaminated? It appears not. But what is the next—you know, what is the next shoe that’s going to fall? So, what’s in this tunnel, right? So, we know that there are chemicals. There are explosive materials. There could be fires that happen. So we’re all watching with bated breath.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you explain what the PUREX is, the Plutonium Uranium Extraction Plant?
TOM CARPENTER: Yes. So, this was a facility that was used to dissolve spent nuclear fuel made in nuclear reactors on the shores of the Columbia River. They had nine reactors. And this facility would dissolve this stuff in acid, separate out the plutonium. And they had this very large inventory of highly radioactive and chemical waste products left over. That’s what’s at Hanford now.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you explain the history of the Hanford site and its role in the U.S. nuclear program?
TOM CARPENTER: Sure. Hanford was the first production facility that came out of the work at Los Alamos during World War II. So, it made the plutonium for the very first nuclear test in the deserts of New Mexico and was the plutonium dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, in the Fat Man bomb. So, it went on then to make more and more plutonium. And it does this by irradiating uranium slugs and then taking that irradiated uranium, dissolving that in a process called reprocessing. And Hanford became the most contaminated facility as a result.
It’s hard to—it’s hard to describe exactly how bad this place is. It’s got two-thirds of the nation’s high-level nuclear waste. There are just 56 million gallons of this waste in underground, leaking tanks. This one little tunnel that was the subject of Tuesday’s collapse was really a small thing compared to what else is out at that site. So, you can imagine a collapse of a nuclear waste tank containing millions of curies of radioactivity. You’re talking about a multistate disaster. And those tanks are in no better shape than this tunnel. And that’s the concern, is that the federal government spent trillions of dollars to make nuclear weapons, but it’s shortchanging us on the cleanup at these sites. It’s supposed to take years and years. The money is being stolen. It’s a fraud factory, in a way. And, you know, so the public is really getting shafted on this one.
AMY GOODMAN: So, very quickly, you have sued the federal government on behalf of the workers at Hanford. We have less than a minute. Can you explain what you have sued over, what you’re demanding and, with this latest accident, what needs to happen?
TOM CARPENTER: OK. So we brought a lawsuit along with the union at the Hanford site, the pipefitters’ union in the state of Washington, to force the government to provide better protections for the workers out there who inhale chemical vapors and then get sick. And, you know, sadly, people are not being protected, even though there are some pretty grave health injuries that result. And we are demanding that people are protected with respiratory protection in the future and that they do something to protect these people. And, you know, this latest incident is a great illustration of how workers are on the front lines of harm out there.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, Tom, I want to thank you for being with us, Tom Carpenter, executive director of Hanford Challenge, which advocates for workers at the Hanford nuclear site.
That does it for our show. I’m heading back to New York on Friday night, as we continue our multicity tour, Covering the Movements Changing America. I’ll be speaking in New York City Friday night at The New School at the Tishman Auditorium on 5th Avenue just under 14th Street at 7:00 p.m. On Saturday—that is May 13th—I’ll be in Olympia, Washington, at the Capitol Theater at 11:00 a.m., then at Powell’s Books at Cedars Hills Crossing in Beaverton, Oregon, right outside Portland, Saturday night at 5:00. Then off to California, we’ll be stopping in Eureka Sunday at noon at the Sequoia Conference Center at 7:00 p.m., Berkeley at the First Presbyterian Church, and then on Monday in Santa Cruz. In the evening, we’ll be in Palo Alto, Tuesday in San Diego, then Los Angeles, then Santa Barbara. And we’re going beyond. We’ll be in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We’ll be in Tempe, Arizona, and finally in Houston, Texas. You can check the website, democracynow.org.
'Spent Fuel Transportation
Package Response to the
Baltimore Tunnel Fire Scenario
Manuscript Completed: October 2006'
Of course Baltimore City has had just that kind of hazardous chemical in tunnel incident and it occurred right in downtown communities. Whether citizens demand one US Federal agency bring justice or another Federal agency to come to Baltimore to bring justice-----it doesn't matter because BALTIMORE CITY COUNCIL AND MAYOR IGNORE ANY FEDERAL GUIDELINES AND REQUIREMENTS because global Wall Street Baltimore Development and global Johns Hopkins tells our city hall to ignore these regulations/procedures as Baltimore is that US city deemed FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE.
The problem for citizens in Baltimore no matter the community is this: we are heading into heightened chemical and nuclear waste and material transport and Port of Baltimore is tops in receiving all this ---while disdaining any oversight and accountability placed on the global corporations awarded the contract.
So, Baltimore has nuclear waste---nuclear materials for building new nuclear bombs coming into our port---transported here and there----we will have soaring amounts of rare earth and toxic chemicals coming to global corporate campuses and global factories in GREATER BALTIMORE----and no politicians in office---no people appointed to public agencies tasked with protecting PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY actually wanting to do that.
NUREG/CR-6886, Rev. 1 PNNL-15313
Spent Fuel Transportation
Package Response to the
Baltimore Tunnel Fire Scenario
Manuscript Completed: October 2006
Date Published: November 2006
H.E. Adkins, Jr., J.M. Cuta, B.J. Koeppel, A.D. Guzman (PNNL)
C.S. Bajwa (NRC)
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
902 Battelle Boulevard
Richland, WA 99352
A. Hansen, NRC Project Manager
Division of Spent Fuel
Storage and Transportation
Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001
Job Code J5167
On July 18, 2001, a freight train carrying hazardous
(non-nuclear) materials derailed and caught fire while
passing through the Howard Street railroad tunnel in
downtown Baltimore, Maryland. The United States
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC), one of
the agencies responsible for ensuring the safe
transportation of radioactive materials in the United States, undertook an investigation of the train
derailment and fire to determine the possible regulat
ory implications of this particular event for the
transportation of spent nuclear fuel by railroad.
The USNRC met with the National Transportation Sa
fety Board (NTSB) to discuss the details of the
accident and the ensuing fire. Following these discu
ssions, the USNRC assembled a team of experts from
the National Institute of Standards and Technology
(NIST), the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory
Analyses (CNWRA), and Pacific Northwest Nationa
l Laboratory (PNNL) to determine the thermal
conditions that existed in the Howard Street tunne
l fire and analyze the potential effects of those
conditions on various spent nuclear fu
el transportation package designs.
The Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) code devel
oped by NIST was used to determine the thermal
environment in the Howard Street tunnel during the fire. The FDS results were used as boundary
conditions for the COBRA-SFS and ANSYS
computer models developed to evaluate the thermal
performance of different package designs. The st
aff concluded that larger transportation packages
resembling the TransNuclear Model No. TN-68 a
nd HOLTEC Model No. HI-STAR 100 would withstand
a fire with thermal conditions sim
ilar to those that existed in the
Baltimore tunnel fire event with only
minor damage to peripheral compone
nts. This is due to their si
zable thermal inertia and design
specifications in compliance with curren
tly imposed regulatory requirements.
For the TN-68 and the NAC International Model No. LW
T (legal weight truck) transportation package,
the maximum temperatures predicted in the regions
of the lid and the vent and drain ports exceed the
seals’ rated service temperatures, making it possible for a small release to occur, due to CRUD that might
spall off the surfaces of the fuel rods. While a release is not expected to occur for these conditions, any
release that could occur would be very small due to a number of factors. These include (1) the tight
clearances maintained between the lid and cask body by
the closure bolts, (2) the low pressure differential
between the package interior and exterior, (3) the te
ndency of such small clearances to plug, and (4) the
tendency of CRUD particles to settle or plate out.
USNRC staff evaluated the radiological con-sequences
of the package responses to the Baltimore tunnel
fire. The analysis indicates that the regulatory dose
rate limits specified in 10 CFR 71.51 for accident
conditions would not be exceeded by releases or direct
radiation from any of these packages in this fire
scenario. All three packages are designed to maintain
regulatory dose rate limits even with a complete
loss of neutron shielding (as documented in their r
espective SAR analyses.) While highly unlikely, the
NAC LWT could experience some decrease in gamm
a shielding due to slump in the lead as a
consequence of this fire scenario, but a conservative
analysis shows that the regulatory dose rate limits
would not be exceeded.
The results of this evaluation also strongly indicate
that neither spent nuclear fuel (SNF) particles nor
fission products would be released from a spent fuel
transportation package carrying intact spent fuel
involved in a severe tunnel fire such as the Baltimore
tunnel fire. None of the three package designs
analyzed for the Baltimore tunnel fire scenario (TN-68, HI-STAR 100, and NAC LWT) experienced
internal temperatures that would result in rupture of
the fuel cladding. Therefore, radioactive material
(i.e., SNF particles or fission products) woul
d be retained within the fuel rods.
There would be no release from the HI-STAR 100, because
the inner welded canister remains leak tight.
While a release is unlikely, the potential releases
calculated for the TN-68 rail package and the NAC
LWT truck package indicate that any release of CRUD
from either package would be very small - less
than an A
quantity (see Section 8.2.)
'Right-to-know laws provide information about possible chemical exposures. Discover resources EPA provides the public in the spirit of right-to-know'.
Here we see an article----this time from 2001----and as we all know it states clearly that Maryland and Baltimore are ground zero for lots and lots and lots of hazardous waste disasters with citizens having no idea ----no rights in knowing what is coming through their communities. Below we see that DASTARDLY EPA-----those far-right wing Clinton/Bush/Obama global Wall Street neo-liberals really hate that Federal agency----it has ignored all enforcement of Federal environmental laws these few decades ---ergo----all these hazardous waste disasters.
The EPA while ignored these few decades is on its way to being totally dismantled----we cannot have MOVING FORWARD MASSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL TOXIC CHEMICALS AND NUCLEAR MANUFACTURING with a pesky EPA around. This article shows as well a CITIZENS' ACTION GROUP called COMMUNITIES' RIGHT TO KNOW. Any CIVIL RIGHTS----CIVIL LIBERTIES organization would have been shouting loudly against PORT OF BALTIMORE AND WALL STREET BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT MASTER PLAN. Not in Baltimore---the only civil rights and liberties groups are FAR-RIGHT WING NEO-LIBERAL CIVIL RIGHTS ALLOWING PEOPLE TO ACCUMULATE MONEY AND POWER ANYWAY THEY CAN----
Our civil rights and civil liberties groups protect those 5% to the 1% and global 1%!
Learn about Your Right to Know
The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) database provides information about releases of toxic chemicals from manufacturing facilities into the environment through the air, water, and land.
Resources for Concerned Citizens
United We Serve - Serve.gov Search for volunteer opportunities in your community at Serve.gov
Learn about Your Right to Know
Right-to-know laws provide information about possible chemical exposures. Discover resources EPA provides the public in the spirit of right-to-know
Learn about your right to know >>
Search for and Comment on Regulations
Our proposed regulations are almost always open to the public for comment. Your participation leads to better regulations.
Search for and comment on regulations >>
At Home and in the Garden
Tips for home safety, avoiding potential risks, and preventing pollution by recycling and conserving water and energy.
Protect the environment at home and in your garden >>
Information about preventing pollution in your workplace, and raising awareness of health and safety issues.
Keep work environments safe >>
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Consumer information about the environmental impacts of transportation plus tips on cleaner cars, saving gas and improving mileage, boating pollution prevention tips, and more.
Learn about the environmental impacts of transportation >>
Whether you are a student or a teacher in a class about the environment, EPA has lots of educational resources to offer you.
Keep school environments safe >>
Find helpful information on how to choose purchases that will reduce pollution, save energy and money.
Learn to be an environmentally-savvy shopper >>
In Your Community
Learn how to protect your neighborhood's natural resources, and get information on air and water quality in your community.
Protect the environment in your community >>
Think Globally, Act Locally
Learn about environmental issues that impact our world, and about programs, opportunities, and tools to help you get involved and make a difference in your communities.
More on thinking globally and acting locally >>
Report a Violation or Emergency
Information on potential environmental violations and how to report a suspicious situation. To report oil and chemical spills, call the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802.
Learn how to report violations and emergencies | Information on natural disasters >>
Information on how to protect children from toxins, the sun, lead, and other potential environmental health threats.
More on children's health >>
Every American has the right to know the chemicals to which they may be exposed in their daily living. Right-to-know laws provide information about possible chemical exposures. Below is a list of some of the information that EPA provides the public in the spirit of right to know.
Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA)
Information on Toxic Substances and Releases
Community Environmental Issues
Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) of 1996
Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA)
Congress enacted EPCRA in 1986 to establish requirements for federal, state and local governments, tribes, and industry regarding emergency planning and "community right-to-know" reporting on hazardous and toxic chemicals. The community right-to-know provisions help increase the public's knowledge and access to information on chemicals at individual facilities, their uses, and releases into the environment. States and communities, working with facilities, can use the information to improve chemical safety and protect public health and the environment. More information about EPCRA
Top of page
Information on Toxic Substances and Releases
Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) - A database which provides information to the public about releases of toxic chemicals from manufacturing facilities into the environment through the air, water, and land.
Access TRI Data via Envirofacts by typing in your ZIP Code - The TRI Query retrieves data in Envirofacts for facilities reporting chemical releases to TRI from 1987-1995. Your query returns facility information, as well as chemical reports, which tabulate air emissions, surface water discharges, releases to land, underground injections, and transfers to off-site locations.
Other Searches By Zip Code - Search for other local information by typing in your ZIP code. You may select from among numerous databases for information about facilities, watersheds, enforcement actions, and other searches.
Air Toxics - This page provides background information on toxic air pollutants--poisonous substances in the air that come from natural or manmade sources and can harm the environment or your health.
RTK-Net Exit EPA Disclaimer - A network funded by several philanthropic and government agencies (including EPA) and jointly operated by two nonprofit organizations: Unison Institute and OMB Watch. Includes information on many EPA programs, regulations
Title III List of Lists: Consolidated List of Chemicals Subject to the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act - This database assists facilities and state and local governments in compliance with the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), the accident prevention provisions of the Clean Air Act, and general chemical emergency preparedness and prevention.
TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory - Download and search EPA's consolidated list of thousands of industrial chemicals manufactured or used in the U.S.
2001--and 2006 from the earlier article failures in this case fall into the hands of SCHMOKE, O'MALLEY----it would have been a Clinton/Bush EPA making sure all regulations were enforced---and we see NOTHING. Citizens of Baltimore today should know----things have gotten WORSE----NOT BETTER.
Yeah, it's the terrorists about which WE THE PEOPLE need to worry ------
"Almost a Worst-Case Scenario": The Baltimore Tunnel Fire of 2001 (A)
National and International Security
State And Local
In the late afternoon of a hot day in July, 2001, an accident beneath the streets of Baltimore threatened to turn into a disaster. A freight train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed and caught fire inside a tunnel that ran beneath one of the city�s main streets. Not only did the tunnel accident block the major north-south train route for the eastern United States, it also released clouds of possibly toxic vapors into downtown streets. Incredibly, the first accident was followed by a second one�a break in a major water main, in exactly the same area, into which cascaded hundreds of thousands of gallons of water. It was a combination which a city official would call �everyone�s worst nightmare.� This case describes�blow-by-blow and meeting-by-meeting�the public emergency response to the tunnel fire and its aftermath. It details how a dozen different jurisdictions�including city, state and federal agencies�had to find ways to coordinate their response in the absence of established procedures for dealing with a situation which had never been specifically contemplated. Among the themes explored in this crisis management case is the role of the local chief executive (Baltimore Mayor Martin O�Malley), the conflicts and cooperation amongst agencies (including and especially fire and public works), and, more broadly, the question of how a series of crucial tactical decisions must be made in the absence of complete information (such as the level of toxic hazard).
Although this case portrays a city responding to an accident, the dynamics of the response relate to those that might be faced in the event of a terrorist attack�and the case can be used in considering such possibilities and the role of public safety first-responders in confronting them.
Hazardous materials pass daily -- and no one knows
The train derailment and fire in the heart of Baltimore's downtown Wednesday alerted the public to an open secret among those in the know: Every day, by rail, by truck and by ship, hundreds of thousands of gallons of hazardous chemicals pass through the city.
But no one - not even those who would have to respond to an accident - knows what dangerous materials are crossing the city at any given time, though many shipments carry the potential for disaster.
For instance, the train that derailed two days ago might have been transporting the gas used in death chambers - hydrogen cyanide - a not uncommon shipment on Baltimore's rails.
Or highly flammable propane, perhaps the most typical hazardous cargo in this area. Or chlorine, which could send a toxic plume more than 25 miles downwind if a single 90-ton rail car ruptured.
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Federal agencies regulate the types of containers that hold these chemicals, the safety devices and signs on them and, in some cases, each car's proximity to other chemicals on a train.
But no one monitors the types and quantities of chemicals passing through Baltimore or anywhere else in the country. And no agency requires that communities be forewarned of such shipments.
It is an information gap that citizens groups have long fought to close in the interest of better emergency planning.
"There is no federal agency that does a good job of tracking hazardous materials," said Paul Orum, director of Community Right to Know, a Washington-based group. "People have a right to know if they can be hurt or injured by materials on rails or roads or on barges."
Manufacturing plants and other facilities that keep hazardous chemicals on site must draft a worst-case accident scenario to let communities know the potential consequences for nearby schools, hospitals and neighborhoods. But no similar requirement exists for chemicals in transit.
"As with so many of the environmental laws, these are the kinds of issues that come to public attention in response to disasters," said Bradley Campbell, former Mid-Atlantic administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency. "This is not one where there is a lot of attention, in part because the safety record, particularly for rail, has been pretty good."
Maryland has experienced nearly 5,000 hazardous spills during transit over the past 30 years, with the annual number increasing over the past decade. About 3,500 occurred on highways; only 217 on railways.
Federal rail officials said yesterday that 2 million tank-car loads of hazardous materials were shipped nationwide last year, with 35 train accidents resulting in the release of dangerous chemicals.
Alerting communities in advance, they said, could have a dangerous result - inadvertently informing someone interested in sabotage or terrorism.
"The key is to get the appropriate information to the emergency crews as soon as it's determined there is an emergency," said George Gavalla, safety director for the Federal Railroad Administration.
Within 15 minutes of being called Wednesday, the Fire Department knew the contents of the train, including caustic acids that can cause severe burns and lung damage.
Still, such information falls short, said Assistant Chief Michael Dalton. "What the manifest doesn't tell you is what can happen if the tankers rupture and the chemicals mix," he said. "Then the whole picture changes. It can create its own witches' brew and there wouldn't even be a chemical name for it."
The fire marshal is routinely notified about the shipment of explosives, Dalton said. "But a lot of chemicals are far more hazardous under the right conditions than a boxcar full of dynamite."
In this case, the risk of a lethal mix was low because most of the chemicals involved are acids, rather than a heat-generating and potentially explosive mix of acids and alkalis, officials said.
For the century-old, 1.7-mile Howard Street Tunnel, there is no restriction on the types of chemicals that may be transported through. About two dozen trains pass through it daily, according to CSX; a similar number, including Amtrak passenger trains, use a 1.3-mile tunnel west of Pennsylvania Station.
"In an open area in the Midwest, you can stand back at a safe distance," Dalton said. "This incident was inside a tunnel, and we had no idea even if any chemical was involved or if all of them mixed. That's what makes this kind of incident so dangerous."
Among the few restrictions that exist in the state are those of the Maryland Transportation Authority, which manages toll facilities and places its highway tunnels in a special category.
In the Baltimore area, potentially dangerous materials are more likely to travel over the Francis Scott Key Bridge (Interstate 695) than through the Fort McHenry Tunnel or Baltimore Harbor Tunnel.
The authority prohibits bulk gasoline, explosives, and large bottles of propane from the tunnels. Police conduct random checks of tankers and other vehicles. Trucks carrying such substances would be sent instead over the Key Bridge. Vehicles carrying high explosives or radioactive materials are required to have a police escort as they cross.
Potentially dangerous materials can also enter the city by air or sea. The Maryland Port Administration said it issued 120 permits last year to shipping companies to bring in explosives and radioactive materials at the Port of Baltimore.
Many other substances, including poisons and flammable liquids, are permitted in the port without prior notification or regulation, though some may be monitored by the Coast Guard or other agencies.
At Baltimore-Washington International Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration oversees the packaging and shipping of hazardous cargo. But the rules are frequently violated nationally. The FAA has sought civil penalties a dozen times this year against airlines or businesses for hazardous materials violations related to the shipment of gasoline, certain types of fungus, corrosives and other substances.
Federal law requires states to have plans for dealing with chemical emergencies. In Maryland, each county and Baltimore City have committees that are supposed to gather information on chemical hazards and draw up plans for handling accidents.
But preparation varies widely, said Alan Brown, chemical emergency preparedness coordinator for the Environmental Protection Agency's regional office. In Baltimore, "the local emergency planning committee is for the most part manned by volunteers, and they don't have any authority to tell anybody not to transport a certain chemical down I-95," he said.
The Fire Department is the lead agency responsible for chemical-emergency planning, though the state Department of the Environment, community activists and representatives of local chemical plants also participate.
MDE spokesman John Verrico said the Fire Department recently practiced responding to a train accident in a tunnel, but MDE's hazardous materials team was not part of that drill.
Brooklyn activist Doris McGuigan, who serves on the city's emergency planning committee, said the group discussed the dangers of tunnels about four months ago.
"The reason it came up is we were doing a segment on terrorist attacks," she said. "I know they were very concerned about it.
"I didn't even know we had tunnels," said McGuigan, a lifelong resident. "I said, 'Let's get some maps,' ... and that's as far as we got."
McGuigan, who has been critical of local emergency planning, said there have been improvements in the level of preparedness. In 1998, the University of Maryland Environmental Law Clinic threatened to sue the planning committee, which rarely met and had a decade-old emergency plan.
Since then, the committee has updated its plan, and "they're working really hard," she said.
"They handled the evacuation fine," McGuigan said, but communication with people driving into the city was less successful.
City officials "need to do some PR work about the fact that when something like this happens, [citizens] really need to pay attention to what they're told. It can save their lives."
The article from 2001 describing the failures of Baltimore City agencies to work together was not a failure of PUBLIC GOVERNMENT as almost all Baltimore City Agencies are tied to global corporations and it is their failure to do that job -----and a Mayor of Baltimore has no idea what these global corporations' executives are doing. Fast-forward to today and O'Malley as Governor of Maryland does the same thing only this time he outsources everything to GLOBAL CORPORATIONS AND WALL STREET dismantling more and more of oversight and accountability until---indeed our Port of Baltimore operates just as a Chinese Foreign Economic Zone----no oversight and accountability---simply self-regulate---and if disaster calls work to hide facts from citizens ---making sure no PUBLIC JUSTICE or public health requirements exists.
This article speaks to hazardous MANIFESTS ---these are the documents telling the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHY, HOW MUCH, AND WHEN of that hazardous material inside a container. Know what? The Department of Transportation ----the EPA ----the Department of Commerce all tied with assuring these laws are enforced never did that. So all these transport corporations like UPS FED-X that used to have strong hazardous handling are slowly leaving all that behind because these global transport corporations have never been held to US Rule of Law.
In 2002, the United States Congress passed the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) requiring maritime port facilities to address port security through appropriate training of port personnel, implementation of access control procedures and handling of certain dangerous cargo.
During fiscal year 2005, the position of Director of Security was established for the Maryland Port Administration. The office is staffed with two Senior Security Specialists and one Security Information Specialist and is housed in the Dunmar Building South on the Dundalk Marine Terminal.
The Office of Security is responsible for overseeing contract security personnel who in turn are responsible for conducting access control duties at each of MPA's regulated marine terminals which are Dundalk and Seagirt Marine Terminals, North Locust Point Marine Terminal, South Locust Point Marine Terminal, South Locust Point Cruise Terminal and Fairfield Marine Terminal. The contract with the MPA for security personnel services is with Securitas, Inc. The Office of Security also works in accordance with an agreement with the Maryland Transportation Authority Police (MdTA Police) who are responsible for law enforcement and patrol functions on MPA terminals.
The Director of Security is the Facility Security Officer responsible for maintaining a security plan for each regulated MPA terminal. Each MPA facility security plan must be approved by the Captain of the Port, United States Coast Guard (USCG). The Coast Guard was given authority under MTSA to impose fines and penalties for non-compliance with MTSA requirements.
The Maryland Area Maritime Security Committee, formed after the attacks of September 11, 2001, coordinates security efforts between its members consisting of the MPA, USCG, MdTA Police, Customs and Border Protection Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, municipal law enforcement agencies and maritime personnel from the private and public sectors. The committee plans annual port security drills and exercises to evaluate port security and address lessons learned for port security improvement'.
Are Emergency Response Numbers Required on Hazardous Waste Manifests?
Dec 7, 2015 8:01:32 AM / by Robert Losurdo
One of the most important aspects of handling, transporting, and properly disposing of hazardous waste is obviously safety. Contingencies especially need to be in place in case something unexpected happens during transport, and one such security measure is an emergency response number included on the hazardous waste manifest. Lacking a number or improperly providing a number not only poses a health and safety risk, but it also makes the waste generator and transporter liable to consequences for federal noncompliance.
Emergency Response Numbers and Hazardous Waste Mainifests
Does a Emergency Response Number Apply to All Hazardous Waste?
Yes. An emergency response number needs to be included on every manifest in order to be properly transporting hazardous waste. It doesn’t matter what industry the hazardous material originates from—whether it be biomedical, environmental, dry cleaning, or any other. To transport hazardous material, an emergency number needs to be provided on the hazardous waste manifest.
Will Any Number Suffice?
Not necessarily. The emergency response number needs to conform to several requirements to be in full federal compliance.
A contact number is to get in touch with someone who can help in the event of an accident. An independent contract number is to specify the waste generator and that generator’s location.
A common mistake in that regard is only providing a generic contract number. Even if a generator works with an independent transport company and provides all relevant SDSs to that company, the generator still needs an independent, identifying contract number with that other company.
Why Do These Numbers Matter?
If something were to happen to a truck or transport vehicle while carrying hazardous waste, there needs to be a point of contact to help the emergency response team mitigate the accident’s negative impacts (to both the environment and people). This paperwork also helps identify the hazardous material so emergency responders know how to handle the situation.
Additionally, complying with these federal regulations helps legally and financially protect the waste generator and waste transporter. Because the stakes and consequences of improperly transporting this kind of waste are so high, a generator often opts to work with a waste management company that has specific experience in that arena and knows, therefore, how to properly transport hazardous waste.
For more information about these emergency response numbers and what the law requires to be in compliance, please feel free to contact a representative of MCF Environmental Services, a full-service waste management company.
It is because our Federal EPA these few decades stopped inspecting hazardous manifests that all transport corporations import/export/train/truck------BECAME LAX in what was a strong public safety procedure. Today we can be sure that only the minimum of inspection occurs.
This is the same stance that gave JAPAN its nuclear disaster----and all US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones especially with PORTS ---LIKE BALTIMORE ----are allowing these global corporations to operate with impunity. We are told if we monitor these global corporations we will lose JOBS, JOBS JOBS---AFFORDABLE HOUSING, AFFORDABLE HOUSING---
WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% NEED THE OPPOSITE OF MOVING FORWARD---WE NEED SMALL BUSINESS ECONOMIES ---SMALL MANUFACTURING---AND A PORT OF BALTIMORE INTERESTED IN REGIONAL SHIPPING.
It is then we can build REAL oversight and accountability to public safety ----public health---handing citizens their voice in communities.
THIS IS ALL TRUMP'S FAULT!
Report: EPA ‘Does Not Effectively Track’ Toxic Waste Entering U.S.
‘Could result in unknown human, environmental exposure to toxic substances’
Toxic recycling plant in Vernon, Calif. / AP
BY: Elizabeth Harrington Follow @LizWFB
July 7, 2015 2:33 pm
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not effectively track hazardous waste coming into the United States, posing "unknown human and environmental exposure to toxic substances."
According to an audit by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) released Monday, the United States receives roughly 90,000 tons of hazardous waste a year from foreign countries, primary from Canada and Mexico. The EPA is responsible for managing hazardous waste from "cradle to grave" via the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
The audit found the agency’s data collection on imports has "major discrepancies in hazardous waste import volumes, indicating that the EPA has incomplete knowledge of hazardous waste import shipments."
Hazardous waste imports include liquids, solids, gases, sludges, and "solvents, acids, heavy metals, such as cadmium and mercury, and used batteries containing lead."
"Based on our assessment of data in EPA information systems, the EPA has an incomplete picture of hazardous waste entering the country," the OIG said. "This can give rise to undetected and unenforced violations of federal hazardous waste laws, which could result in unknown human and environmental exposure to toxic substances."
"The EPA may be unaware of shipments that do not reach their intended destination facilities, as well as significant discrepancies in the volume or nature of hazardous waste shipped," the OIG added.
The audit revealed that the EPA is not meeting federal regulations requiring the agency to keep track of the waste it approves to enter the country. The EPA is missing consent forms—mandated under RCRA to give the government’s approval to accept hazardous waste from foreign countries--for over half of toxic waste manifests.
Hazardous waste shipments to the United States must have a manifest, which identifies where the waste came from, the type, volume, dates of shipment, and when it will reach its final destination. Hazardous waste can be transported to treatment, storage, and disposal facilities in the United States.
In addition, "the EPA letter consenting to imports did not consistently include sufficient information to verify that the types of hazardous waste shipped were those which received consent," the OIG said.
Manifests of hazardous waste also did not match data from the Biennial Report (BR), the EPA data system that documents "the nature, quantities and disposition" of hazardous waste received by treatment facilities every two years.
"The EPA does not have an accurate accounting of hazardous waste coming into the
United States," the OIG said. "Comparison of import quantities for 2009 showed [the Office of Federal Activities] OFA received manifests for less than half the waste identified in the BR."
"OIG analysis of 2011 data also showed much of the waste documented in the manifests received by OFA was not reported in the BR," they said.
The audit also found a discrepancy in the law that has left the EPA and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) unclear on which agency is responsible for stopping unauthorized hazardous waste imports at U.S. borders.
"Lack of explicit authority restricts the EPA’s ability to prevent unconsented hazardous waste shipments from entering the United States," the audit said. "This is a gap in the federal law that governs the management and handling of hazardous waste and its intent to address ‘cradle-to-grave’ management of hazardous waste.
"[N]either the EPA nor CBP believes they otherwise have explicit authority to stop unconsented shipments of hazardous waste at the border," the OIG said. "The EPA needs to seek explicit authority to stop unconsented imports at the U.S. border."
The report also notes that the EPA is not using the clear enforcement powers it has over facilities in the United States that violate regulations.
The OIG said the EPA has "failed to take enforcement action against domestic entities when RCRA import regulations are violated," and "does not review manifests or data to identify regulatory violations and pursue appropriate enforcement actions."
The OIG analyzed a sample of over 200 manifests between 2011 and 2012 to complete the audit.
An EPA spokesperson said the agency agrees with the OIG’s recommendations to improve its monitoring of hazardous waste imports.
"EPA remains committed to strong oversight of hazardous waste imports, and to protecting Americans from the potential dangers of exposure to these materials," they said.
"EPA will increase its compliance monitoring activities by reconciling its import data, reminding importers of their reporting obligations, and exploring with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection the possibility of using the International Trade Data System to enhance domestic monitoring," the EPA added. "The agency will also discuss with administration officials outside EPA the possibility of obtaining import control authority to prevent the import of hazardous waste without prior EPA consent."
________________________________________________If Baltimore has a long history of hazardous chemical disasters and spills from transport to export/import----then Baltimore has NO PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY----it is the duty of our city public health department to assure all Federal, state, and local public safety laws and guidelines are operating, enforced, and adequate to protect WE THE PEOPLE THE 99%.
Baltimore is in fact a PUBLIC HEALTH DISASTER all around and indeed there is no public health protection in place regarding nuclear or toxic waste disasters. We see the required annual city-wide drill ----I was an emergency response employee---I know this drill-----and it is not adequate for REAL city-wide response. If a disaster happened today the same 2001 O'MALLEY non-response would occur.
All Baltimore media is global Wall Street captured ----global Johns Hopkins/Wall Street BAltimore Development controls content and here we have WYPR---NPR public media CONTROLLED BY GLOBAL JOHNS HOPKINS.
All of Baltimore's media PRAISE BALTIMORE PUBLIC HEALTH COMMISSIONERS----for decades ago until today. WEN works for global johns Hopkins BLOOMBERG PUBLIC HEALTH ----NOT CITIZENS OF BALTIMORE. WEN operates just as Baltimore Public Health commissioners these few decades.
WE THE PEOPLE MUST WAKE UP-----when we allow every stage of public government be degraded, captured, tied to global corporations operating anyway they want---we are NOT SOVEREIGN CITIZENS.
IT GETS WORSE NOT BETTER.
As global Wall Street media PRETENDS they are helping the poor these few decades Baltimore citizens have to watch MUMBAI-THIRD WORLD condition for our US citizens as regards public health. I passed a poor citizen sitting at a bus stop with a massive swollen, infected foot wrapped in the dirtiest of gauze----the foot will be lost IF the man lives. Our streets of Baltimore are filling with low-income and poor not treated and the stance in BAltimore SIMPLY TO GET THESE PEOPLE OUT OF SIGHT.
Baltimore City council and mayor control these enforcement and operations and if we are seeing third world public health in our citizens---we know they could care less about hazardous/disaster planning.
This is why we shout ----do not think NPR/APR is good---it has been global Wall Street CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA these few decades especially after 2008 economic crash.
Baltimore Health Commissioner: 'Public Health Is Tied To Everything'
May 15, 20155:15 PM ET
Heard on All Things Considered
NPR's Audie Cornish talks with Baltimore City Health Commissioner Leana Wen about the public health needs of the city's residents and the steps she wants to take to meet those needs.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
We're going to hear some ideas now from someone who's working on that long-term project, Leana Wen. She is an emergency physician, and four months ago she became Baltimore's health commissioner. In the days since the unrest, she's been talking a lot about the role of public health in addressing the city's ills. First on her agenda - reaching the people she sees as the most vulnerable.
LEANA WEN: Let me give you a statistic that I find shocking. Our city has a population of about 620,000 people. There are 73,000 individuals who go in and out of our detention centers every year - 8 out of 10 of these individuals use illegal substances, 4 out of 10 have a diagnosed mental illness. What I would love to see are mobile crisis teams to help every individual coming out of our jails and out of our detention centers. These are the individuals who are the most costly in terms of societal resources, and they have the highest risk of being disruptive to their community and to continuing in the cycle of violence and trauma and incarceration. We really have to address this most vulnerable population, but we also have to make sure that we have treatment on demand 24/7 for anyone who needs it.
CORNISH: When it comes to policymaking on these issues - fighting poverty and violence - are public health officials also-rans? Like, are you guys even in this discussion, and what's it like trying to force your way in?
WEN: It is our job as public health leaders to make the case that public health is tied to everything and that we should not just talk about public health when things go wrong. People tend to think of public health as this boring entity that we hear about when there are outbreaks of infections or when there are rats running around and restaurants being unclean. We have to make the case that actually everything comes back to health - that we cannot talk about poverty without also addressing the heroin epidemic and what it's done in terms of crime and unemployment for citizens. We cannot talk about better health care and better jobs if we're not addressing the core problems that people have when it comes to shelter and employment that also tie closely into health as well.
CORNISH: You mentioned crisis teams and a 24-hour treatment center, but do you have the money to do this? Have you been given the money to do this?
WEN: We don't have the money to do much of the work that we would like to do. My hope is that with everything that's happened in Baltimore - with the attention that our city now has that we can really make Baltimore into a model for the rest of the country to follow when it comes to treating the core roots of our problems.
CORNISH: You're speaking optimistically. You're also fairly new to the job. How optimistic are you really about tackling these entrenched problems?
WEN: Baltimore has a long history of innovation in public health. We are the oldest public health department in the country, and we have a long history of taking on different issues...
CORNISH: But I mean - I'm sorry, Doctor Wen. I mean you personally. Like, you're new to this job, and a few months in, there is, you know, a riot in the streets. And how optimistic are you really about being able to tackle some of this?
WEN: I see this as an opportunity. Finally, public health is at the forefront in major newspapers and on the radio and on TV. We're talking about lead paint and the problems that it may have caused in Freddie Gray's life. We're talking about differences in life expectancy by ZIP code - all these issues that are core to what we do in public health. So I'm optimistic because I'm glad that these issues are finally being raised in the public consciousness.
CORNISH: Doctor Leana Wen - she's the Baltimore city health commissioner and an emergency physician. She's also a regular contributor to Shots, NPR's health blog. Thank you so much for speaking with us.
WEN: Thank you, Audie.
'Taking on urban health care problems is especially difficult because of the multitude of variables present in cities: immigration, insufficient housing, lack of space for infrastructure, political corruption, organized crime, pollution, and dysfunctional health systems'.
Baltimore public health is almost the same as MUMBAI----MOVING FORWARD killing all safety net programs----funding for all social programs that these few decades have simply been looted for the most part----will push US citizens to that level of no access to clean water, sanitation, third world slum.
WE THE PEOPLE can see why global Wall Street CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA are working so hard to fill our US cities with global labor pool----these developing nation citizens don't know what quality of life---rights as citizens-----DO NO HARM HIPPOCRATIC OATH---means and they do not ask for them.
I do know our global 99% immigrants want to come to an America as it has always been and not a colonial entity operating just as their third world nation.
Confronting the Challenges of Urban Health in the Developing World
Urban public health is one of the most pressing yet neglected issues facing the developing world, according to public health experts. Neither the national nor local governments have enacted comprehensive plans for dealing with the country’s rapidly urbanizing population. So far, most of the focus of both local authorities and the global health community has been on health programs in rural areas. Taking on urban health care problems is especially difficult because of the multitude of variables present in cities: immigration, insufficient housing, lack of space for infrastructure, political corruption, organized crime, pollution, and dysfunctional health systems.
“Urban poverty is not on the government’s radar screen,” said Dr Anita Patil-Deshmukh, executive director of PUKAR, a Mumbai-based urban health research and advocacy organization. From an official perspective slum dwellers, estimated to number more than 6 million in Mumbai alone, exist largely as an undifferentiated mass. They do not receive government services, lacking basics like water and sanitation. And yet they are a huge part of the productive power of the country, producing hundreds of millions of dollars a year in economic output.
Sam Loewenberg's stories examine the impact of having overburdened, poorly-functioning health systems in high-stress urban settings such as Mumbai and Nairobi.
Everyone understands the top issues for public health are ----safe and accessible food and water and we have discussed often how MOVING FORWARD global Wall Street pols are using that dastardly Henry Kissinger policy of capturing and controlling food, water, and energy to control nations and its people and WE THE PEOPLE are well on our way to being that captured colonial entity.
When we speak of the AIR THAT WE BREATHE it is usually in the context of POLLUTED AIR----we rarely here any talk of the depletion of OXYGEN IN THE AIR. Know what? People cannot live without OXYGEN. This is a PUBLIC HEALTH CERTAINTY. Let's talk the science of oxygen to understand how the STEM OF MOVING FORWARD will deplete earth's oxygen not too far in the future if we continue to allow MOVING FORWARD.
The last post introduced the vital oxygen-producing PHYTOPLANKTON in our oceans--we see they are a larger source of oxygen then our trees and our land plants. When CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA just arbitrarily decide they are going to appoint people to THE INTERNATIONAL NUCLEAR AGENCIES tasked with regulating and enforcing nuclear safety that COULD CARE LESS ABOUT REGULATING NUCLEAR SAFETY AND COULD CARE LESS ABOUT DAMAGES FROM RADIOACTIVE POLLUTION----we get nuclear accidents like Japan's reactor meltdown and we get massive oil rig disasters globally both of which WIPE OUT PHYTOPLANKTON living on the ocean's surface. When global oil executives say with disdain---OH, THAT DISASTER WILL CLEAR UP IN SEVERAL DECADES----they are not telling WE THE PEOPLE how serious the decline of PHYTOPLANKTON is worldwide.
We talked about how the NEW TECHNOLOGY of floating massive solar platforms-----massive industrial fish farming structures----expanding oil drilling on EAST and WEST COAST and Alaska all heighten the killing of phytoplankton. This very, very, very small plant life is top food chain source for all marine animals and existed in abundance along our coastlines UNTIL ALL OF THE ABOVE INDUSTRIES killed THAT ENVIRONMENT. Now global Wall Street is killing even those PHYTOPLANKTON in mid-ocean.
'Scientists agree that there’s oxygen from ocean plants in every breath we take. Most of this oxygen comes from tiny ocean plants – called phytoplankton – that live near the water’s surface and drift with the currents. Like all plants, they photosynthesize – that is, they use sunlight and carbon dioxide to make food. A byproduct of photosynthesis is oxygen.
Scientists believe that phytoplankton contribute between 50 to 85 percent of the oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere'.
Phytoplankton Vanishing from Warming Oceans- World’s Oxygen Supply Threatened
The scientific headlines scream looming disaster as the ocean’s phytoplankton steadily populations drop. The public yawns, who cares if phytoplankton, the microscopic plants that live in the ocean, are disappearing? You can’t eat them.
We better care; these tiny organisms gobble up carbon dioxide and produce half the world’s oxygen—equaling that of trees and plants on land. They are the basis for life in the world’s oceans.
According to recent studies led by Dalhousie University, phytoplankton populations are in significant decline, and the implications for both marine life and life on Earth could be immense.
According to the study, published on July 29th in Nature, the world is losing an average of one per cent of its phytoplankton each year, and the northern hemisphere has lost roughly 40 per cent since 1950.
The study, which took three years to complete, is the first comprehensive survey of for the global populations of these microscopic organisms and the results are disturbing, that is if you care about life.
In order to understand the significance of this decline, we must first understand the significance of phytoplankton.
Phytoplankton is the staple upon which the entire marine food chain is built. Phytoplankton is the main source of food for zooplankton, which in turn is the staple for many small fish and other sea creatures, which are then eaten by the bigger fish and large mammals such as seals and whales. A decline of phytoplankton harms the entire food chain, and is contributing mightily to the decline of all life in the ocean.
But the consequences of losing these microscopic beings are far greater!
The role of phytoplankton goes well beyond the marine environment. Like terrestrial vegetation, phytoplankton photosynthesizes and in doing so consumes carbon dioxide and produces about half of the world’s oxygen supply.
The phytoplankton of the seas provide an enormous carbon sink, one essential for absorbing the huge volumes of carbon we have and increasingly release through fossil fuel consumption. As such Phytoplankton plays an enormous role in the world’s carbon cycle and therefore the stability of the global climate.
What has caused this dramatic decline?
While the exact causes are unclear, researchers of the recent study suspect that there is likely a strong correlation between the decline and rising sea temperatures. As surface water warms, it tends to form a distinct layer that does not mix well with cooler, nutrient-rich water below, depriving phytoplankton of some of the materials they need to turn CO2 and sunlight into energy.
The loss of phytoplankton therefore, seems to be part of a very troublesome feedback loop. Rising ocean temperatures are driving a decline the Earth’s natural ability to absorb carbon dioxide, which is in turn leading to a greater abundance of greenhouse gasses, which leads to warmer oceans.
More than a wake- up call this study should set off alarm bells. Urgently we need it more research and analysis. We can’t even begin to address this problem, this broken natural cycle, without a fuller understanding of all the factors that are driving this population decline.
As the CBC reports there have already been calls for drastic intervention and bioengineering schemes to add more nutrients to ocean water to boost phytoplankton growth.
Clearly action is needed, but we should also be wary of the laws of unintended consequences— a law that when combined with hubris and human arrogance is perhaps largely responsible for getting us into this mess in the first place.
In the meantime, on our regularly scheduled program, “The small fish eat the little ones, the big fish eat the small ones, not my problem, give me some! * Well, it is our problem and I encourage you to think about it.
National media will often tell citizens of the threat of phytoplankton decline in ocean food chain----DON'T WORRY global Wall Street says we are building INDUSTRIAL FISH FARMS that will further kill phytoplankton. It is the same mentality of GREEN REVOLUTION CORPORATIONS telling US farmers to use more and more and more fertilizer which was killing the natural soil animals creating natural food plant fertilizers. These 5% are very crazy dudes and sadly DUDETTES.
MOVING FORWARD 4th industrial revolution will indeed make temperatures rise----the killing of PHYTOPLANKTON comes from multiple sources of industrial pollution=====
The rising temperatures created by industrial CLIMATE CHANGE GASES, not only CO2---
The melting glaciers and north and south polar ices are killing ocean water chemical balance-----too much acidity---too much fresh water changing salt concentrations and VOILA---these tiny plants cannot live. If we were not spending trillions of dollars to built GLOBAL ONLINE CORPORATION ONE GRID-----we would be spending funds on capturing all that fresh water from melting ice.
So, phytoplankton in decline these several decades-----the decline has grown during CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA -----and now with expanding FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES IN AFRICA AND US----that decline will soar---but global Wall Street pols are PRETENDING they are addressing all these environmental problems with GLOBAL GREEN CORPORATIONS.
Industrial fish farming global Wall Street says will replace this dying marine food source-----as industrial fish farming further KILLS THAT SAME MARINE ENVIRONMENT making sure it never recovers.
Earth's Oxygen Engine: Is the Invisible Ocean Virus Ecosystem Threatened?
May 24, 2015
When you mention rich ecosystems that are vital for life on Earth, people tend to think of rainforests, but ocean plankton are actually just as crucial. The microscopic beings that drift on the upper layer of the oceans are globally referred to as "plankton"; together they produce half of our oxygen, act as carbon sinks, influence our weather, and serve as the base of the ocean food web that sustains the larger fish and marine mammals that we depend upon or draw delight from.
"Beyond the cutting-edge science that was developed thanks to our collaborative work with the Tara Expéditions Foundation, this adventure is also about showing people all over the world how important the ocean is for our own well-being," says Eric Karsenti, director of Tara Oceans, from EMBL and CNRS.The scientists captured viruses, microbes and microscopic eukaryotes -- organisms with complex cells, from single-cell algae to fish larvae -- from major oceanic regions. They compiled their genetic material into comprehensive resources that are now available to the scientific community for further studies.
"This is the largest DNA sequencing effort ever done for ocean science: analyses revealed around 40 million genes, the vast majority of which are new to science, thus hinting towards a much broader biodiversity of plankton than previously known," explains Patrick Wincker, from Genoscope, CEA.
EMBL's high performance computing was essential in compiling this comprehensive catalogue, which is estimated to be derived from more than 35 000 different species whose genomic content had been mostly unknown to mankind until now.
"In terms of eukaryotes, we sequenced nearly a billion genetic barcodes, and found that there is a greater variety of single-cell eukaryotes in plankton than was thought," says Colomban de Vargas, from CNRS. "They appear to be much more diverse than bacteria or animals, and most belong to little-known groups."
Thanks to novel computer models, the researchers were able to predict how these diverse planktonic organisms interact. Predictions were confirmed via selective microscopy observations.
"When we mapped how planktonic organisms -- from viruses to small animal larvae -- interact with each other, we discovered that most of those interactions are parasitic, recycling nutrients back down the food chain," says Jeroen Raes from VIB, KU Leuven, and Vrije Universiteit Brussel. This map is a first step towards a better understanding of the dynamics and structure of the global marine ecosystem.
In addition to biotic interactions, the scientists studied how environmental factors -- such as temperature, pH, and nutrients (amongst others) -- influence the microscopic organisms floating in the ocean.
"We found that, at depths still reached by sunlight, temperature was the main factor that influences the composition of prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea) communities," says Peer Bork from EMBL. "Different sets of organisms come together depending on the water temperature."
The scientists also showed that the Agulhas "rings" -- a natural barrier that draws the line between the Indian Ocean and the South Atlantic -- separate plankton communities. "It's like plankton goes through a cold wash cycle at the tip of South Africa," says Daniele Iudicone from the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn. "The current forms huge swirls that drastically mix and cool the plankton riding it, thus limiting the number of species that manage to cross."
"In addition, we now also have a global picture of marine virus communities, which allows us to confirm an idea that had been proposed a decade ago, but never proven," explains Matthew Sullivan from the University of Arizona. "Viruses are produced in local 'seed banks' and then ride the ocean currents, so you end up with different cocktails of viruses in different places, even though the overall diversity of viruses in the oceans appears quite limited."
Understanding the distribution and the interactions of the plankton across the oceans will be very useful for predictive models necessary to study climate change.
The uniqueness of the Tara Oceans 'eco-systems biology' approach is to have sampled the world's oceans systematically across all domains of life, from viruses to animals, and including a rich variety of environmental data. The data generated sets a baseline, on a global scale, to evaluate the impact of climate changes on oceanic ecosystems in the future.
"The finding that temperature shapes which species are present, for instance, is especially relevant in the context of climate change, but to some extent this is just the beginning," says Chris Bowler, from CNRS. "The resources we've generated will allow us and others to delve even deeper, and finally begin to really understand the workings of this invisible world."
The Daily Galaxy via European Molecular Biology Labratory
We see below the universities tied to the worst of MOVING FORWARD 4TH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION have those few scientists writing articles telling us how bad things will get. PENN STATE and GLOBAL JOHNS HOPKINS lead in pushing the worst of economic policies not caring that they are leading the way to 5 DEGREE CLIMATE CHANGE.
When temperatures rise AND when fracking goes global ---know where fracking and natural gas is found in high abundance? SIBERIAN PEAT BOGS now under PERMA-FROST. Know who had satellites map where that natural gas is abundant? Good old global Wall Street Ivy League universities. Obama and Hillary made fracking go global and they are fighting to get at that Siberian and a lesser CANADIAN NORTHWEST peat zone under PERMA-FROST. Global Wall Street 5% are cheerleading melting polar ice because that makes fracking and oil drilling easier.
WE ARE WINNERS SHOUT GLOBAL FRACKING AND GLOBAL OIL CORPORATIONS AND THEIR GLOBAL WALL STREET 5% CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA.
As Foreign Economic Zones expand with more global factories the polar PERMA-FROST covering the very cold northern lands is melting and with that RELEASING OF GREAT AMOUNTS OF METHANE. METHANE is concentrated CO2----it is worse as a CLIMATE CHANGE GAS----but what we do not hear is how higher METHANE CONCENTRATIONS in air KILL OUR OXYGEN.
Methane drives chemical reactions forcing oxygen molecules to join in making more METHANE. BYE-BYE OXYGEN HELLO SUPER-SIZED METHANE IN OUR AIR.
'Washington, D.C. -– Volcanic eruptions in Siberia 251 million years ago may have started a cascade of events leading to high hydrogen sulfide levels in the oceans and atmosphere and precipitating the largest mass extinction in Earth’s history, according to a Penn State geoscientist'.
This article talks of hundreds of millions of years ago when NATURAL ACTIONS created these same atmosphere conditions AS OUR MOVING FORWARD GLOBAL WALL STREET CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA----instead of volcanoes erupting we have MAD HATTERS building more and more and more GLOBAL INDUSTRY.
Global Warming Led To Atmospheric Hydrogen Sulfide And Permian Extinction
March 1, 2005
Volcanic eruptions in Siberia 251 million years ago may have started a cascade of events leading to high hydrogen sulfide levels in the oceans and atmosphere and precipitating the largest mass extinction in Earth’s history, according to a Penn State geoscientist.
Washington, D.C. -– Volcanic eruptions in Siberia 251 million years ago may have started a cascade of events leading to high hydrogen sulfide levels in the oceans and atmosphere and precipitating the largest mass extinction in Earth’s history, according to a Penn State geoscientist.
"The recent dating of the Siberian trap volcanoes to be contemporaneous with the end-Permian extinction suggests that they were the trigger for the environmental events that caused the extinctions," says Lee R. Kump, professor of geosciences. "But the warming caused by these volcanoes through carbon dioxide emissions would not be large enough to cause mass extinctions by itself."
That warming, however, could set off a series of events that led to mass extinction. During the end-Permian extinction 95 percent of all species on Earth became extinct, compared to only 75 percent during the K-T when a large asteroid apparently caused the dinosaurs to disappear.
Volcanic carbon dioxide would cause atmospheric warming that would, in turn, warm surface ocean water. Normally, the deep ocean gets its oxygen from the atmosphere at the poles. Cold water there soaks up oxygen from the air and because cold water is dense, it sinks and slowly moves equator-ward, taking oxygen with it. The warmer the water, the less oxygen can dissolve and the slower the water sinks and moves toward the equator.
“Warmer water slows the conveyer belt and brings less oxygen to the deep oceans,” says Kump.
The constant rain of organic debris produced by marine plants and animals, needs oxygen to decompose. With less oxygen, fewer organics are aerobically consumed.
"Today, there are not enough organics in the oceans to go anoxic," says Kump. "But in the Permian, if the warming from the volcanic carbon dioxide decreased oceanic oxygen, especially if atmospheric oxygen levels were lower, the oceans would be depleted of oxygen."
Once the oxygen is gone, the oceans become the realm of bacteria that obtain their oxygen from sulfur oxide compounds. These bacteria strip oxygen from the compounds and produce hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide kills aerobic organisms.
Humans can smell hydrogen sulfide gas, the smell of rotten cabbage, in the parts per trillion range. In the deeps of the Black Sea today, hydrogen sulfide exists at about 200 parts per million. This is a toxic brew in which any aerobic, oxygen-needing organism would die. For the Black Sea, the hydrogen sulfide stays in the depths because our rich oxygen atmosphere mixes in the top layer of water and controls the diffusion of hydrogen sulfide upwards.
In the end-Permian, as the levels of atmospheric oxygen fell and the levels of hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide rose, the upper levels of the oceans could have become rich in hydrogen sulfide catastrophically. This would kill most the oceanic plants and animals. The hydrogen sulfide dispersing in the atmosphere would kill most terrestrial life.
"A hydrogen sulfide atmosphere fits the extinction better than one enriched in carbon dioxide," says Kump. "Carbon dioxide would have a profound effect on marine life, but terrestrial plants thrive on carbon dioxide, yet they are included in the extinction."
Another piece in the puzzle surrounding this extinction is that hydrogen sulfide gas destroys the ozone layer. Recently, Dr. Henk Visscher of Utrecht University and his colleagues suggested that there are fossil spores from the end-Permian that show deformities that researchers suspect were caused by ultra violet light.
"These deformities fit the idea that the ozone layer was damaged, letting in more ultra violet," says Kump.
Once this process is underway, methane produced in the ample swamps of this time period has little in the atmosphere to destroy it. The atmosphere becomes one of hydrogen sulfide, methane and ultra violet radiation.
The Penn State researcher and his colleagues are looking for biomarkers, indications of photosynthetic sulfur bacteria in deep-sea sediments to complement such biomarkers recently reported in shallow water sediments of this age by Kliti Grice, Curtin University of Technology, Australia, and colleagues in the Feb. 4 issue of the journal, Science. These bacteria live in places where no oxygen exists, but there is some sunlight. They would have been in their heyday in the end-Permian. Finding evidence of green sulfur bacteria would provide evidence for hydrogen sulfide as the cause of the mass extinctions.
Basic science in high school teaches just what is happening today with methane in our air rising as water levels in ocean rises----that methane is driven to bind with oxygen ---this is a force of nature ---it does not pick and choose. The more methane concentration in air---the more our oxygen will be captured in atmosphere and made into WATER. Lot's of RAIN----NO OXYGEN----that is MOVING FORWARD 4TH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION BY GLOBAL WALL STREET 5% TO THE 1%. When we are told temperatures in our middle America are going to rise similar to equator----they tell us as well we will see the same high levels of RAIN-----that is because all our OXYGEN IN AIR is being captured by METHANE and turned into water.
A molecule of methane consists of 4 hydrogen atoms and one carbon atom: C H4. Oxygen molecules are O2. To burn (combine) you need two O2 molecules. Then the burning (combination) looks like this:
C H4 + 2 O2 --> CO2 + 2 H2O.
The process gives off energy (that means that the outgoing molecules of carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) have high velocity and heat up the surroundings, perhaps triggering other methane and oxygen molecules to combine (that is, to burn).
WE THE PEOPLE will suffer the effects of no oxygen long before that rain replenishes our polluted and exhausted fresh water supply----the lost oxygen will happen in decades and a few centuries---the replenishment of METHANE RAIN FRESH WATER will be millions of years.
Natural gas, composed primarily of methane, is an energy-
intensive fuel source that has a high molar energy density,
exhibits cleaner combustion when compared to diesel or
petroleum, 1,2 and requires low utilization costs.
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Methane levels as high as 2845ppb Methane levels as high as 2845 parts per billion (ppb) were recorded on April 25, 2015, as illustrated by the image below.
This is an extremely high peak. The average daily peak in 2015 until May 1 was 2371 ppb, while the highest daily mean ranged from 1807 ppb (January 10) to 1829 ppb (April 22). Daily peaks and daily highest mean levels in 2015 are shown on the image below.
These peaks are much higher than they were in previous years, as illustrated by the image below, from an earlier post and showing the average highest peak readings in 2013 and 2014 at selected altitudes..
Peak readings in above image are averages over April 2013 and April 2014. On specific days, peak readings could be much higher, e.g. on April 28, 2014, methane levels were recorded as high as 2551 ppb at 469 mb. As said, methane levels as high as 2845 ppb were recorded on April 25, 2015, while the average peak for the first four months of 2015 was 2371 ppb, and this average was calculated from peaks across altitudes.
Peak levels in April appear to be rising strongly each year, following higher peak readings during previous months, especially at higher altitudes, i.e. especially the Arctic Ocean. It appears that much of the additional methane originating from the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere has moved closer to the equator over the past few months, and is now accumulating at higher altitudes over the continents on the Northern Hemisphere, i.e. Asia, Europe, North America and north Africa.
Further analysis of the rise in global mean methane levels appears to confirm the above. The image below shows methane levels on April 22, over three years. While there appears to be little or no rise in mean methane levels at low altitudes, the rise is quite profound at higher altitudes.
Things look set to get worse. As shown by the image below, from an earlier post, global methane levels have risen sharply from a low of 723 ppb in 1755. Mean methane levels were as high as 1839 ppb in 2014. That's a rise of more than 254%.
As that post concluded a year ago, it appears that the rise of methane in the atmosphere is accelerating. What can we expect? As temperatures can be expected to continue to rise and as feedbacks start to kick in, this may well constitute a non-linear trend. The image below shows a polynomial trend that is contained in IPCC AR5 data from 1955 to 2011, pointing at methane reaching mean global levels higher than 3000 ppb by the year 2030. If methane starts to erupt in large quantities from clathrates underneath the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean, this may well be where we are heading.
The situation is dire and calls for comprehensive and effective action, as discussed at the Climate Plan.
First Water Tests Show Worrying Signs From Cook Inlet Gas Leak
Low oxygen and high methane levels were found near the leaking gas pipeline in Alaska, although the true danger to marine life is yet to be measured.
By Sabrina Shankman
Mar 24, 2017
Here we see 2008 global Wall Street media telling us global green corporations are going to save the day. This is right as the economic crash started the next phase of MOVING FORWARD. All state and Federal funding went to grow global corporations into global green corporations and now all research data tell us these green corporations are helping the world control CLIMATE CHANGE. At the same time we have corporate universities like PENN STATE and GLOBAL IVY LEAGUE JOHNS HOPKINS writing articles saying how bad things are getting. Both of these universities are of course owned and operated by global fracking corporations ----so the next phase of PROPAGANDA directed at 99% of WE THE PEOPLE----is this----the global 99% now NEEDS global Wall Street and their green corporations to save us from CATASTROPHE. Please don't believe this---the only ones global Wall Street are working to save are that same global 1% minus WE THE PEOPLE THE 99%.
The gloom and doom of today's data is NOT ACCURATE----CORPORATE UNIVERSITIES WILL NOW TRY TO SCARE PEOPLE into keeping those global CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA ----now TRUMP in charge to SAVE US. It is EASY PEASY to stop and slow down CLIMATE CHANGE---we simply need to stop global corporate campuses and global factories in US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones and rebuild our US economies with small and regional businesses and small, local manufacturing. JUST GET RID OF THESE GLOBAL WALL STREET PLAYERS.
Oh NO! We must have global green corporations to build all those NEW PRODUCTS----those PLASTIC TREES with CO2 SCRUBBERS now needing ATTACHED OXYGEN GENERATORS but not to forget those man-made BEEHIVES filled with ROBOBEES-----well, it looks like the 99% won't be able to afford ANY OF THOSE NEW PRODUCTS.
THOSE 5% 'WINNERS' PUTTING MONEY IN THEIR POCKETS FROM STOCK OPTIONS KILLING THE FUTURE OF THEIR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN.
Only global Wall Street 5% FOLLOWERS SHOW ME THE MONEY LIVING FOR TODAY 5% would follow these global 1% mad hatters. We need 99% REAL social progressive LEADERS to take back our Democratic Party!
Beyond The Green Corporation
Imagine a world in which eco-friendly and socially responsible practices actually help a company's bottom line. It's closer than you think
January 29, 2007, 12:00 AM EST
COVER STORY PODCAST
Under conventional notions of how to run a conglomerate like Unilever, CEO Patrick Cescau should wake up each morning with a laserlike focus: how to sell more soap and shampoo than Procter & Gamble Co. (PG ) But ask Cescau about the $52 billion Dutch-British giant's biggest strategic challenges for the 21st century, and the conversation roams from water-deprived villages in Africa to the planet's warming climate.
The world is Unilever's laboratory. In Brazil, the company operates a free community laundry in a São Paulo slum, provides financing to help tomato growers convert to eco-friendly "drip" irrigation, and recycles 17 tons of waste annually at a toothpaste factory. Unilever funds a floating hospital that offers free medical care in Bangladesh, a nation with just 20 doctors for every 10,000 people. In Ghana, it teaches palm oil producers to reuse plant waste while providing potable water to deprived communities. In India, Unilever staff help thousands of women in remote villages start micro-enterprises. And responding to green activists, the company discloses how much carbon dioxide and hazardous waste its factories spew out around the world.
As Cescau sees it, helping such nations wrestle with poverty, water scarcity, and the effects of climate change is vital to staying competitive in coming decades. Some 40% of the company's sales and most of its growth now take place in developing nations. Unilever food products account for roughly 10% of the world's crops of tea and 30% of all spinach. It is also one of the world's biggest buyers of fish. As environmental regulations grow tighter around the world, Unilever must invest in green technologies or its leadership in packaged foods, soaps, and other goods could be imperiled. "You can't ignore the impact your company has on the community and environment," Cescau says. CEOs used to frame thoughts like these in the context of moral responsibility, he adds. But now, "it's also about growth and innovation. In the future, it will be the only way to do business."
A remarkable number of CEOs have begun to commit themselves to the same kind of sustainability goals Cescau has pinpointed, even in profit- obsessed America. For years, the term "sustainability" has carried a lot of baggage. Put simply, it's about meeting humanity's needs without harming future generations. It was a favorite cause among economic development experts, human rights activists, and conservationists. But to many U.S. business leaders, sustainability just meant higher costs and smacked of earnest U.N. corporate- responsibility conferences and the utopian idealism of Western Europe. Now, sustainability is "right at the top of the agendas" of more U.S. CEOs, especially young ones, says McKinsey Global Institute Chairman Lenny Mendonca.
You can tell something is up just wading through the voluminous sustainability reports most big corporations post on their Web sites. These lay out efforts to cut toxic emissions, create eco-friendly products, help the poor, and cooperate with nonprofit groups. As recently as five years ago, such reports—if they appeared at all—were usually transparent efforts to polish the corporate image. Now there's a more sophisticated understanding that environmental and social practices can yield strategic advantages in an interconnected world of shifting customer loyalties and regulatory regimes.
Embracing sustainability can help avert costly setbacks from environmental disasters, political protests, and human rights or workplace abuses—the kinds of debacles suffered by Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS ) in Nigeria and Unocal in Burma. "Nobody has an idea when such events can hit a balance sheet, so companies must stay ahead of the curve," says Matthew J. Kiernan, CEO of Innovest Strategic Value Advisors. Innovest is an international research and advisory firm whose clients include large institutional investors. It supplied the data for this BusinessWeek Special Report and prepared a list of the world's 100 most sustainable corporations, to be presented at the Jan. 24-28 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
THOSE GLOBAL 1% AT DAVOS SWITZERLAND WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM---ALWAYS WORRIED ABOUT THE WELFARE OF THE GLOBAL 99%!
The roster of advocates includes Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric Co. (GE ), who is betting billions to position GE as a leading innovator in everything from wind power to hybrid engines. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT ), long assailed for its labor and global sourcing practices, has made a series of high-profile promises to slash energy use overall, from its stores to its vast trucking fleets, and purchase more electricity derived from renewable sources. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK ) discovered that, by investing to develop drugs for poor nations, it can work more effectively with those governments to make sure its patents are protected. Dow Chemical Co. (DOW ) is increasing R&D in products such as roof tiles that deliver solar power to buildings and water treatment technologies for regions short of clean water. "There is 100% overlap between our business drivers and social and environmental interests," says Dow CEO Andrew N. Liveris.
Striking that balance is not easy. Many noble efforts fail because they are poorly executed or never made sense to begin with. "If there's no connection to a company's business, it doesn't have much leverage to make an impact," says Harvard University business guru Michael Porter. Sustainability can be a hard proposition for investors, too. Decades of experience show that it's risky to pick stocks based mainly on a company's long-term environmental or social-responsibility targets.
Nevertheless, new sets of metrics, which Innovest and others designed to measure sustainability efforts, have helped convince CEOs and boards that they pay off. Few Wall Street analysts, for example, have tried to assess how much damage Wal-Mart's reputation for poor labor and environmental practices did to the stock price. But New York's Communications Consulting Worldwide (CCW), which studies issues such as reputation, puts it in stark dollars and cents. CCW calculates that if Wal-Mart had a reputation like that of rival Target Corp. (TGT ), its stock would be worth 8.4% more, adding $16 billion in market capitalization.
Serious money is lining up behind the sustainability agenda. Assets of mutual funds that are designed to invest in companies meeting social responsibility criteria have swelled from $12 billion in 1995 to $178 billion in 2005, estimates trade association Social Investment Forum. Boston's State Street Global Advisors alone handles $77 billion in such funds. And institutions with $4 trillion in assets, including charitable trusts and government pension funds in Europe and states such as California, pledge to weigh sustainability factors in investment decisions.
Why the sudden urgency? The growing clout of watchdog groups making savvy use of the Internet is one factor. New environmental regulations also play a powerful role. Electronics manufacturers slow to wean their factories and products off toxic materials, for example, could be at a serious disadvantage as Europe adopts additional, stringent restrictions. American energy and utility companies that don't cut fossil fuel reliance could lose if Washington joins the rest of the industrialized world in ordering curbs on greenhouse gas emissions. Such developments help explain why Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM ), long opposed to linking government policies with global warming theories, is now taking part in meetings to figure out what the U.S. should do to cut emissions.
Investors who think about these issues obviously have long time horizons. But they encounter knotty problems when trying to peer beyond the next quarter's results to a future years down the road. Corporations disclose the value of physical assets and investments in equipment and property. But U.S. regulators don't require them to quantify environmental, social, or labor practices. Accountants call such squishy factors "intangibles." These items aren't found on a corporate balance sheet, yet can be powerful indicators of future performance.
If a company is at the leading edge of understanding and preparing for megatrends taking shape in key markets, this could constitute a valuable intangible asset. By being the first fast-food chain to stop using unhealthy trans fats, Wendy's International Inc. (WEN ) may have a competitive edge now that New York City has banned the additives in restaurants. McDonald's Corp. (MCD ), which failed to do so, could have a future problem.
Rising investor demand for information on sustainability has spurred a flood of new research. Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank Securities (DB ), ubs (UBS ), Citigroup (C ), Morgan Stanley, and other brokerages have formed dedicated teams assessing how companies are affected by everything from climate change and social pressures in emerging markets to governance records. "The difference in interest between three years ago and now is extraordinary," says former Goldman Sachs (GS ) Asset Management CEO David Blood, who heads the Enhanced Analytics Initiative, a research effort on intangibles by 22 brokerages. He also leads Generation Investment Management, co-founded in 2004 with former Vice-President Al Gore, which uses sustainability as an investment criterion.
Perhaps the most ambitious effort is by Innovest, founded in 1995 by Kiernan, a former KPMG senior partner. Besides conventional financial performance metrics, Innovest studies 120 different factors, such as energy use, health and safety records, litigation, employee practices, regulatory history, and management systems for dealing with supplier problems. It uses these measures to assign grades ranging from AAA to CCC, much like a bond rating, to 2,200 listed companies. Companies on the Global 100 list on BusinessWeek's Web site include Nokia Corp. (NOK ) and Ericsson (ERICY ), which excel at tailoring products for developing nations, and banks such as hsbc Holdings (HBC ) and abn-Amro (ABN ) that study the environmental impact of projects they help finance.
Some of Innovest's conclusions are counterintuitive. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ ) and Dell (DELL ) both rate AAA, for example; market darling Apple (AAPL ) gets a middling BBB on the grounds of weaker oversight of offshore factories and lack of a "clear environmental business strategy." An Apple spokesman contests that it is a laggard, citing the company's leadership in energy-efficient products and in cutting toxic substances. Then there's Sony Corp. (SNE ) vs. Nintendo. Wall Street loves the latter for a host of reasons, not least that its Wii video game system, the first to let users simulate actions such as swinging a sword or tennis racket, was a Christmas blockbuster. Sony, meanwhile, has a famously dysfunctional home electronics arm, and was embarrassed by exploding laptop batteries and long delays in bringing out its PlayStation 3 game console. Nintendo's stock has more than tripled in three years; Sony's has languished.
WEIGHING THE EFFORTS
Viewed through the lens of sustainability, however, Sony looks like the better bet. It is an industry leader in developing energy-efficient appliances. It also learned from a 2001 fiasco, when illegal cadmium was found in PlayStation cables bought from outside suppliers. That cost Sony $85 million, says Hidemi Tomita, Sony's corporate responsibility general manager. Now, Sony has a whole corporate infrastructure for controlling its vast supplier network, helping it avert or quickly fix problems. Nintendo, a smaller Kyoto-based company focused on games, shows less evidence of the global management systems needed to cope with sudden regulatory shifts or supplier problems, says Innovest. A Nintendo spokesman says it meets all environmental rules and is "always reviewing and considering" the merits of new global sustainability guidelines.
BP seems to disprove the sustainability thesis altogether. CEO John Browne has preached environmentalism for a decade, and BP consistently ranked atop most sustainability indexes. Yet in the past two years it has been hit with a refinery explosion that killed 15 in Texas, a fine for safety violations at a refinery in Ohio, a major oil pipeline leak in Alaska, and a U.S. Justice Dept. probe into suspected manipulation of oil prices.Browne has recently announced his retirement. BP's shares have slid 10% since late April. Exxon's are up around 12%.
Innovest still rates BP a solid AA, while labeling Exxon a riskier BB. And PetroChina? Innovest gives it a CCC. Here's why: BP wins points for plowing $8 billion into alternative energies to diversify away from oil and engages community and environmental groups. Exxon has done less to curb greenhouse gas emissions and promote renewables and has big projects in trouble spots like Chad. "I would still say Exxon is a bigger long-term risk," says Innovest's Kiernan. Petro- China is easier to justify. Begin with its safety record: A gas well explosion killed 243 people in 2003; another fatal explosion in 2005 spewed toxic benzene into a river, leaving millions temporarily without water. PetroChina has been slow to invest in alternative energy, Innovest says, and its parent company has big bets in the Sudan.
Do Innovest's metrics make a reliable guide for picking stocks? Dozens of studies have looked for direct relationships between a company's social and environmental practices and its financial performance. So far the results are mixed, and Kiernan admits Innovest can't prove a causal link. That's little help to portfolio managers who must post good numbers by yearend. "The crux of the problem is that we are looking at things from the long term, but we're still under short-term review from our clients," says William H. Page, who oversees socially responsible investing for State Street Global Advisors.
TALKING A GOOD FIGHT
Yet Kiernan and many other experts maintain sustainability factors are good proxies of management quality. "They show that companies tend to be more strategic, nimble, and better equipped to compete in the complex, high-velocity global environment," Kiernan explains. That also is the logic behind Goldman Sachs's intangibles research. In its thick annual assessments of global energy and mining companies, for example, it ranks companies on the basis of sustainability factors, financial returns, and access to new resource reserves. Top-ranking companies, such as British Gas, Shell, and Brazil's Petrobras (PBR ), are leaders in all three categories. For the past two years, the stocks of elite companies on its list bested their industry peers by more than 5%—while laggards underperformed, Goldman says.
Still, BP's (BP ) woeful performance highlights a serious caveat to the corporate responsibility crusade. Companies that talk the most about sustainability aren't always the best at executing. Ford Motor Co. (F ) is another case in point. Former CEO William C. Ford Jr. has championed green causes for years. He famously spent $2 billion overhauling the sprawling River Rouge (Mich.) complex, putting on a 10-acre grass roof to capture rainwater. Ford also donated $25 million to Conservation International for an environmental center.
But Ford was flat-footed in the area most important to its business: It kept churning out gas-guzzling SUVs and pickups. "Having a green factory was not Ford's core issue. It was fuel economy," says Andrew S. Winston, director of a Yale University corporate environmental strategy project and co-author of the book Green to Gold.
The corporate responsibility field is littered with lofty intentions that don't pay off. As a result, many CEOs are unsure what to do exactly. In a recent McKinsey & Co. study of 1,144 top global executives, 79% predicted at least some responsibility for dealing with future social and political issues would fall on corporations. Three of four said such issues should be addressed by the CEO. But only 3% said they do a good job dealing with social pressures. "This is uncomfortable territory because most CEOs have not been trained to sense or react to the broader landscape," says McKinsey's Mendonca. "For the first time, they are expected to be statesmen as much as they are functional business leaders." Adding to the complexity, says Harvard's Porter, each company must custom-design initiatives that fit its own objectives.
Dow Chemical is looking at the big picture. It sees a market in the need for low-cost housing and is developing technologies such as eco-friendly Styrofoam used for walls. CEO Liveris also cites global water scarcity as a field in which Dow can "marry planetary issues with market opportunity." The U.N. figures 1.2 billion people lack access to clean water. Dow says financial solutions could help 300 million of them. That could translate into up to $3 billion in sales for Dow, which has a portfolio of cutting-edge systems for filtering minute contaminants from water. To reach the poor, Dow is working with foundations and the U.N. to raise funds for projects.
The most important business stories of the day.
Get Bloomberg's daily newsletter.Philips Electronics (PHG ) also is building strategies around global megatrends. By 2050, the U.N. predicts, 85% of people will live in developing nations. But shortages of health care are acute. Among Philips' many projects are medical vans that reach remote villages, allowing urban doctors to diagnose and treat patients via satellite. Philips has also developed low-cost water-purification technology and a smokeless wood-burning stove that could reduce the 1.6 million deaths annually worldwide from pulmonary diseases linked to cooking smoke. "For us, sustainability is a business imperative," says Philips Chief Procurement Officer Barbara Kux, who chairs a sustainability board that includes managers from all business units.
Such laudable efforts, even if successful, may not help managers make their numbers next quarter. But amid turbulent global challenges, they could help investors sort long-term survivors from the dinosaurs.
This is NOT a shocker. REAL left social progressives KNOW how to stop and reverse Climate Change. What THE 99% OF citizens need to consider now---is how to not fall for all the PROPAGANDA.
Depletion of atmospheric O2 will of course not happen over night. Humans need a certain concentration of O2 to function normally and that will be the first sign of depleted O2--we will breathe deeply seeking O2 but not get the amounts needed to be active. So, we will become less active and feeling tired and fatigued. This will occur in simply decades. It will take a few hundreds of years for methane levels to claim more and more O2 to create devastating effects.
If we ignore actions NOW----global Wall Street will heighten all that fear-mongering over just who is going to get access to ONE WORLD ONE ECO-DOME protection. IT'S NO SECRET----ONLY THE GLOBAL 1% WILL HAVE THAT ACCESS.
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Plankton Will Stop Making Oxygen By End Of Century
plankton make our oxygen
Plankton Will Stop Making Oxygen By End Of Century
Russ George / June 17, 2016 / Leave a comment / Bad News For The Planet
Researchers reveal how Earth’s oxygen could collapse with ocean warming of just 6 degrees
The collapse of ocean oxygen production is far worse than the threat of sea level rise and flooding.
Shocker: Top Google Engineers Say Renewable Energy ‘Simply won’t work’
Anthony Watts / November 22, 2014
Guest essay by Eric Worrall
A research effort by Google corporation to make renewable energy viable has been a complete failure, according to the scientists who led the programme. After 4 years of effort, their conclusion is that renewable energy “simply won’t work”.
According to an interview with the engineers, published in IEEE;
“At the start of RE<C, we had shared the attitude of many stalwart environmentalists: We felt that with steady improvements to today’s renewable energy technologies, our society could stave off catastrophic climate change. We now know that to be a false hope …
Renewable energy technologies simply won’t work; we need a fundamentally different approach.”
There is simply no getout clause for renewables supporters. The people who ran the study are very much committed to the belief that CO2 is dangerous – they are supporters of James Hansen. Their sincere goal was not to simply install a few solar cells, but to find a way to fundamentally transform the economics of energy production – to make renewable energy cheaper than coal. To this end, the study considered exotic innovations barely on the drawing board, such as self erecting wind turbines, using robotic technology to create new wind farms without human intervention. The result however was total failure – even these exotic possibilities couldn’t deliver the necessary economic model.
The key problem appears to be that the cost of manufacturing the components of the renewable power facilities is far too close to the total recoverable energy – the facilities never, or just barely, produce enough energy to balance the budget of what was consumed in their construction. This leads to a runaway cycle of constructing more and more renewable plants simply to produce the energy required to manufacture and maintain renewable energy plants – an obvious practical absurdity.
As a review by The Register of the IEEE article states.
“Even if one were to electrify all of transport, industry, heating and so on, so much renewable generation and balancing/storage equipment would be needed to power it that astronomical new requirements for steel, concrete, copper, glass, carbon fibre, neodymium, shipping and haulage etc etc would appear. All these things are made using mammoth amounts of energy: far from achieving massive energy savings, which most plans for a renewables future rely on implicitly, we would wind up needing far more energy, which would mean even more vast renewables farms – and even more materials and energy to make and maintain them and so on. The scale of the building would be like nothing ever attempted by the human race.”
I must say I’m personally surprised at the conclusion of this study. I genuinely thought that we were maybe a few solar innovations and battery technology breakthroughs away from truly viable solar power. But if this study is to be believed, solar and other renewables will never in the foreseeable future deliver meaningful amounts of energy.
[Post updated at Eric’s request to correct the source of the second quote – Anthony]
Today contained OXYGEN is not too expensive but as with all medical products that price is climbing. Imagine throughout this 21st century as atmospheric O2 falls----these kinds of symptoms will occur----imagine what a global Wall Street predatory and profiteering health system will do with contained oxygen prices----
WOW----THERE IS A CAPTURED MARKET FOR GLOBAL WALL STREET!
Oxygen | November 3, 2008
| by Carrie Tucker
What Does Low Oxygen Level Feel Like?
Low oxygen levels rob you of your health and can kill you.
Will you feel it if you have low oxygen level?
Many people who have dangerously low oxygen levels report “feeling just fine” despite their pale color and confusion.
Watch for the following symptoms of low oxygen level:
If you ignore your low oxygen level
If you think you MIGHT have low oxygen levels, you’d be better off taking action to address your needs than to “wait and see”.
It does NOT matter whether you suffer with low oxygen levels, or you “feel fine” with low oxygen levels, YOUR HEALTH WILL BE LOST!
Everything from your ability to burn fat to to the normal rhythm of your heart requires oxygen!
Unfortunately, you are not likely to have this discussion with your doctor. Maybe you’ll get lucky and find a doctor that really values oxygen therapy but it is not the norm.
In fact, your doctor is likely to discourage home oxygen use.
Why so much resistance to oxygen therapy?
We may see much more wide spread acceptance of oxygen therapy very soon because it KEEPS heart failure patients OUT of emergency rooms and hospitals much longer!
A few cardiologists I’ve worked with over the years knew this valuable information, but for the most part, doctors do not value oxygen therapy and misinform their patients about it.
Supplemental Oxygen Will:
Let's finish this week on environmental policy to remind citizens what REAL LEFT social progressive environmental policy is. Our citizens coming of age in Clinton era 1990s have never heard anything other than far-right global Wall Street takeover of all our left social progressive issues especially environment. We have to look at research and policy discussions from the 1960s and 70s to remember our left environmental goals. Today, even our right wing citizens understand that ONE WORLD ONE ENERGY GRID is very, very, very, very bad for 99% WE THE PEOPLE. It is that Henry Kissinger global 1% CONTROL ENERGY ----CONTROL A NATION-----CONTROL A NATIONS' FOOD CONTROL ITS PEOPLE. This has been the goal of CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA ----now TRUMP.
A friend asked----if these solar panel technologies are as bad as oil----what do we do? The REAL left stance on utilities----home energy and water ----is return our BGE---local electric and natural gas-----to being regional ----return our BGE to being regulated----return our BGE to being public. The right wing may not want it taken public---but many are now aware of the need to keep control of our vital utilities local and regulated.
OUR BALTIMORE CITY POLS-----BALTIMORE CITY COUNCIL AND MARYLAND ASSEMBLY ALL VOTE TO CONSOLIDATE OUR BGE TO EVER-LARGER CORPORATIONS AND SIT AND WATCH AS GLOBAL VEOLA ENVIRONMENT ACTS AS THE MAJOR RECEIVER OF OUTSOURCED CONTRACTS FROM EXELON.
What global Wall Street 1% Clinton/Obama did these several years of PRETENDING TO BE ENVIRONMENTAL WITH ALTERNATIVE ENERGY----it to send ALL FEDERAL AND STATE funding to build these natural gas-----wind and solar infrastructure to GLOBAL CORPORATIONS. It was deliberate---they were capturing what should have been local alternative energy platforms straight to global corporations. No way for the 99% to build that local, regulated, and public energy platform for our alternative energy.
EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS THAT GLOBAL CORPORATIONS ARE NOT BUILDING ENERGY STRUCTURES FOR SERVING THE 99%----IT BUILDS THESE STRUCTURES FOR PROFITEERING, CONTROLLING POWER, AND FOR ASSURING GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUSES AND GLOBAL FACTORIES GET PRIORITY OVER ALL THESE ENERGY SOURCES
No matter how many times a global Wall Street player tells us----HERE ARE SMALL BUSINESS COMPETITORS-----they are lying. What are being called regional alternative energy businesses are simply SUBSIDIARIES OF GLOBAL ENERGY CORPORATIONS.
'But opponents like Ms. Gatrel say that giant projects like the Grain Belt Express represent an outmoded, centralized approach to delivering energy. Just as it is healthier and more sustainable to eat foods close to where they are grown, the argument goes, so, too, should electricity be consumed closer to where it is produced'.
“We believe that the East Coast has access to abundant offshore wind and that any time you talk about green or clean, you should also be talking about local,” she said. “Unnecessary long-haul transmission lines are not our country’s future.”
Fight to Keep Alternative Energy Local Stymies an Industry
By DIANE CARDWELLMARCH 23, 2016
Jeff Gatrel at his farm in northern Missouri. The Gatrels are part of a group of local landowners who oppose a plan to build high-voltage transmission lines across or near their property to get power produced from wind to the East Coast. Credit Christopher Smith for The New York Times
COWGILL, Mo. — Up and down the center of the country, winds rip across plains, ridges and plateaus, a belt of unharnessed energy capable of powering millions of customers, with enormous potential to help meet national goals to stem climate change.
And because the bulk of the demand is hundreds of miles away, companies are working to build a robust network of high-voltage transmission lines to get the power to the coasts.
If only it were that simple. In all, more than 3,100 miles of projects have yet to be built, in need of government approval.
One of the most ambitious projects, called the Grain Belt Express from a company called Clean Line Energy Partners, spent six years winning the go-ahead in three of the Midwestern states it would cross, only to hit a dead end in Missouri when state regulators voted 3 to 2 to stop the project. They were swayed by landowners like Jennifer Gatrel, who runs a midsize family cattle operation with her husband, Jeff, here in the northwestern part of the state.
She and other opponents made the usual arguments against trampling property rights through the use of eminent domain, obliterating their pastoral views and disrupting their way of life.
But they also argued something else: Why should they have to live beneath the high-voltage lines when there is plenty of wind in the East?
Now the whole project is waiting, putting the Gatrels in the middle of an emerging battle over how the nation should shift to renewable energy and meet ambitious targets in carbon reduction. The outcome will determine where and how green energy will develop over the coming decades.
Proposed Transmission Lines for Renewable Energy
Several companies are hoping to build high-voltage transmission lines to transport renewable energy from wind farms and hydroelectric plants to more populous regions of the country. One such company, Clean Line Energy Partners, has been denied permission by the Missouri Public Service Commission to run its Grain Belt Express transmission line across that state.
“We have this potential for high-quality renewables in real volume for the first time,” said James J. Hoecker, a former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission who now advises the transmission industry. “The problem is, where the best renewables are, there are few customers.”
The transmission lines like Grain Belt Express, he said, would bring the electricity to where there is demand.
The push to enhance the grid has gained urgency as renewables have spread. Already, electric systems in areas like Hawaii and Germany are under strain as wind and solar power fluctuate and overload the wires. What is needed, proponents say, is a new infrastructure better suited to handle renewable energy.
Energy Department officials acknowledge as much, saying that the United States must significantly upgrade its transmission and distribution system to meet both the needs of the information economy and clean energy goals, an effort that would require an estimated $900 billion in investment by 2030.
A recent study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado, Boulder, found that with such a network, the United States could supply most of its electricity with renewables by then at costs near today’s prices and get close to meeting the goals set in the Paris agreement on climate change.
But opponents like Ms. Gatrel say that giant projects like the Grain Belt Express represent an outmoded, centralized approach to delivering energy. Just as it is healthier and more sustainable to eat foods close to where they are grown, the argument goes, so, too, should electricity be consumed closer to where it is produced.
“We believe that the East Coast has access to abundant offshore wind and that any time you talk about green or clean, you should also be talking about local,” she said. “Unnecessary long-haul transmission lines are not our country’s future.”
Wayne Wilcox at his property in Missouri, which is crossed by a power transmission lines. He says the Grain Belt Express project will bring benefits to the local area. Credit Christopher Smith for The New York Times
It isn’t just here in northwestern Missouri that construction of new power lines has met resistance, and transmission projects can live or die at the hands of state and county officials representing the local interest.
Clean Line has five projects in the works, including one that failed to gain approval in Iowa and another that ran aground in Arkansas and is awaiting federal approval under a thus-far unused provision of the 2005 Energy Policy Act. TransWest Express, a connector that the billionaire Philip Anschutz is proposing to install from the enormous wind farm he is developing on his south-central Wyoming cattle ranch to Las Vegas, is also awaiting a federal go-ahead.
But some energy officials and executives say there is a more dynamic and resilient alternative to these sprawling networks. Instead, they are promoting the development of less centralized systems that link smaller power installations, including rooftop solar, storage and electric vehicles, an approach known as distributed generation.
Conflict over those competing visions has cropped up across the country in fights over both wind and solar developments, but nowhere is that conflict starker than in Missouri’s rejection of Grain Belt.
The transmission line, which could create thousands of temporary manufacturing and construction jobs in the state, attracted strong support among some economic development officials and landowners. They saw it as a chance to bring needed revenue to local counties and school districts, as well as to provide extra income for those whose land it crosses.
“I’m wanting to make sure that my local district has the assets to be able to do what they need to do,” said Wayne Wilcox, 68, who runs a farm that has been in his family since 1884 and is a commissioner in Randolph County. “I just believe a project like this brings a lot of good to a community.”
But opponents flooded the state Public Service Commission with thousands of comments against the proposal. Among the objections was granting Clean Line eminent domain so it could profit from shipping electricity to energy-hungry regions that command higher power prices. In addition, opponents say that the lines can interrupt farming operations, pierce the country quiet with humming or popping sounds and pollute the nights with a glow.
Forging at Hubbell, a supplier of power system equipment in Centralia, Mo. Proponents of a transmission line to take wind power east say it could create temporary manufacturing and construction jobs in the state at places like Hubbell. Credit Christopher Smith for The New York Times
And although the lines are said to be safe, farmers are warned not to refuel vehicles underneath them, or if refueling is necessary, to ground equipment with heavy chains.
Michael Skelly, Clean Line’s president and founder, said that the lines would not glow, but acknowledged that most landowners wouldn’t be eager to have the towers, which could rise 150 feet, on their properties. He also said that the exceptional winds of the Great Plains could go a long way toward reducing the country’s carbon emissions, and that the company would compensate landowners for their sacrifice. And since there is no comprehensive, national transmission-building program, he said, it was up to private companies to devise business models to handle it.
“The difficult thing is that with infrastructure of any type, it has to go somewhere,” he said, adding, “To motivate investors, there has to be a possibility that they make money — otherwise, it’s not going to happen.”
The state’s five-member Public Service Commission, which rejected the proposal by one vote, concluded that its priority was Missouri, and “that any actual benefits to the general public from the project are outweighed by the burdens on affected landowners.”
One of the dissenting commissioners, Daniel Y. Hall, who is now the chairman, wrote that the majority had used an “overly narrow and parochial interpretation of the public interest” that put the state “on the wrong side of history.”
That debate is far from over. Clean Line plans to reapply, Mr. Skelly said, and Ms. Gatrel and her neighbors have vowed to continue their fight.
Last month, she stood on a windswept hill at her home, just below a flock of chickens and ducks pecking near a cold frame holding the last of a crop of lettuce. Her son, Dalton, ran a pony around a ring while her husband, who like his wife is 35 years old, worked cattle on horseback in a nearby pasture.
“I love this life,” she said. “I love this land.”
Here is just such a business pretending to be that local solar panel business simply tied to global MITSUI. Now, this partnership with a Japanese energy corporation as is happening with all infrastructure projects will replace any US citizen thinking to be a small business partner.
The left social progressive stance on solar energy is constructing a solar panel based on SIMPLICITY----it has no toxic components ---it simply captures sunlight---runs that energy inside our house with maybe a thermo-hydrologic pipeline inside walls. None of this is connected to the grid----it is SELF-SUSTAINING. Why would WE THE PEOPLE send solar energy to a global ONE GRID when we know that energy will be used for profiteering-----it will be selectively distributed especially to corporations, and the rates the 99% will pay will continue to climb no matter how much solar energy we send back to this GRID.
IT IS RIGGED FOLKS AS ALL GLOBAL WALL STREET CONSTRUCTS ARE.
So, rather than have that simple solar panel on roof construct for individual homes -----we have to have solar panels filled with SMART TECHNOLOGY which is where all the toxic chemicals and climate change gases emanate.
Of course this 'community' subsidiary is headquartered in San Fran Silicon Valley region-----these solar arrays are not the same solar arrays and rooftop panels from pre-Clinton era----the SMART GRID connection components are watch make today's platforms more toxic and climate changing. WE DO NOT WANT THESE SOLAR PLATFORMS----local means local owned---local small manufacturing-made----local citizen control.
About ForeFront Power
ForeFront Power is a leading provider of solar energy services, serving business, public sector, utility, and residential customers. Combined with the global energy expertise of Mitsui & Co., Ltd., our team provides a reliable platform for continued project development excellence.
You can now subscribe to a local solar project to lower your utility bills and enable renewable energy investment. Take advantage of off-site solar power with no upfront costs and more flexible terms.
Save on Electricity
The percentage allocation of your Community Solar array is set for your contract term, providing a buffer against energy price volatility. You pay no money down and can starting saving right away.
Community Solar is located at a nearby site in your community, eliminating space constraints and other limitations of on-premises development, all while keeping environmental benefits local. By participating in a community solar array, you are enabling local, clean power development and job creation.
As a subscriber of a local solar project, you can be a community leader, joining other local businesses and residents that want the benefits of community solar. Also by participating in a community solar array, you are enabling local, clean power development and job creation.
Beyond the benefit of electricity savings, solar energy can help your organization meet environmental goals as your installation brings more renewable energy to the grid, while also helping your state and community climb towards renewable energy targets.
We speak often about the sudden rise in incorporated businesses in 2008-2009. Just as our economy crashed and the next phase of MOVING FORWARD was started---US city infrastructure suddenly we had INCORPORATION ACROSS THE NATION. We follow those in Maryland and this is what we always find. Either these 'startups'/'local' contractors are tied to TEXAS or are foreign partners. Maryland may as well be TEXAS as global Johns Hopkins is Bush is defense and energy.
This is what is being called the alternative source for low-income people---we spoke with a Clearview Energy employee-----yet another part-time and temporary job -----selling citizens this corporation as DIVERSIFYING our state energy grid.
What did global Wall Street Clinton neo-liberals do to our low-income citizens when they DEREGULATED AND CONSOLIDATED BANKING? They created that subset of predatory lending/check cashing -----well that is what is now happening in our home energy sector----what used to be electric and natural gas-----now wind and solar ----came to all houses and businesses EQUALLY AND WITH EQUAL RATES. What these corporations are being allowed to do is DEREGULATE these equal rates creating winners and losers in receiving simple home energy.
So, here in Baltimore rather than dismantle growing corporate structure in energy---the REAL LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE STANCE----they are breaking down all regulations----allowing individual citizens to be treated differently than others in how they receive energy. On top of that-----all Federal funding geared towards low-income energy sustainability is simply lost to fraud to these ONE GRID GLOBAL ENERGY CORPORATIONS.
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'The Associated Press compiled a list of 41 solar makers in the state, which included the top companies based on market data, and startups. In response to an AP records request, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control provided data that showed 17 of them reported waste, while the remaining did not.
The same level of federal data does not exist'.
Solar panel makers grapple with hazardous waste problem
By Jason Dearen, The Associated Press | February 11, 2013 8:48 AM ET
More from The Associated Press
Sam Hodgson/BloombergA solar panel being installed at a home in Encinitas, California.
Solar power's dirty side: hazardous waste problem
While solar is a far less polluting energy source than coal or natural gas, many panel makers are nevertheless grappling with a hazardous waste problem
SAN FRANCISCO — Homeowners on the hunt for sparkling solar panels are lured by ads filled with images of pristine landscapes and bright sunshine, and words about the technology’s benefits for the environment — and the wallet.
What customers may not know is that there’s a dirtier side.
While solar is a far less polluting energy source than coal or natural gas, many panel makers are nevertheless grappling with a hazardous waste problem. Fueled partly by billions in government incentives, the industry is creating millions of solar panels each year and, in the process, millions of pounds of polluted sludge and contaminated water.
To dispose of the material, the companies must transport it by truck or rail far from their own plants to waste facilities hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of miles away.
The fossil fuels used to transport that waste, experts say, is not typically considered in calculating solar’s carbon footprint, giving scientists and consumers who use the measurement to gauge a product’s impact on global warming the impression that solar is cleaner than it is.
After installing a solar panel, “it would take one to three months of generating electricity to pay off the energy invested in driving those hazardous waste emissions out of state,” said Dustin Mulvaney, a San Jose State University environmental studies professor who conducts carbon footprint analyses of solar, biofuel and natural gas production.
The waste from manufacturing has raised concerns within the industry, which fears that the problem, if left unchecked, could undermine solar’s green image at a time when companies are facing stiff competition from each other and from low-cost panel manufacturers from China and elsewhere.
“We want to take the lessons learned from electronics and semiconductor industries (about pollution) and get ahead of some of these problems,” said John Smirnow, vice-president for trade and competitiveness at the nearly 500-member Solar Energy Industries Association.
The increase in solar hazardous waste is directly related to the industry’s fast growth over the past five years — even with solar business moving to China rapidly, the U.S. was a net exporter of solar products by $2 billion in 2010, the last year of data available. The nation was even a net exporter to China.
New companies often send hazardous waste out of their plants because they have not yet invested in on-site treatment equipment, which allows them to recycle some waste.
Nowhere is the waste issue more evident than in California, where landmark regulations approved in the 1970s require industrial plants like solar panel makers to report the amount of hazardous materials they produce, and where they send it. California leads the consumer solar market in the U.S. — which doubled overall both in 2010 and 2011.
The Associated Press compiled a list of 41 solar makers in the state, which included the top companies based on market data, and startups. In response to an AP records request, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control provided data that showed 17 of them reported waste, while the remaining did not.
The same level of federal data does not exist.
The state records show the 17 companies, which had 44 manufacturing facilities in California, produced 46.5 million pounds of sludge and contaminated water from 2007 through the first half of 2011. Roughly 97 per cent of it was taken to hazardous waste facilities throughout the state, but more than 1.4 million pounds were transported to nine other states: Arkansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Nevada, Washington, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.
Several solar energy experts said they have not calculated the industry’s total waste and were surprised at what the records showed.
Solyndra, the now-defunct solar company that received $535 million in guaranteed federal loans, reported producing about 12.5 million pounds of hazardous waste, much of it carcinogenic cadmium-contaminated water, which was sent to waste facilities from 2007 through mid-2011.
Before the company went bankrupt, leading to increased scrutiny of the solar industry and political fallout for President Barack Obama’s administration, Solyndra said it created 100 megawatts-worth of solar panels, enough to power 100,000 homes.
The records also show several other Silicon Valley solar facilities created millions of pounds of toxic waste without selling a single solar panel, while they were developing their technology or fine-tuning their production.
While much of the waste produced is considered toxic, there was no evidence it has harmed human health.
The vast majority of solar companies that generated hazardous waste in California have not been cited for waste-related pollution violations, although three had minor violations on file.
In many cases, a toxic sludge is created when metals and other toxins are removed from water used in the manufacturing process. If a company doesn’t have its own treatment equipment, then it will send contaminated water to be stored at an approved dump.
According to scientists who conduct so-called “life cycle analysis” for solar, the transport of waste is not currently being factored into the carbon footprint score, which measures the amount of greenhouse gases produced when making a product.
Life cycle analysts add up all the global warming pollution that goes into making a certain product — from the mining needed for components to the exhaust from diesel trucks used to transport waste and materials. Not factoring the hazardous waste transport into solar’s carbon footprint is an obvious oversight, analysts said.
“The greenhouse gas emissions associated with transporting this waste is not insignificant,” Mulvaney said.
Mulvaney noted that shipping, for example, 6.2 million pounds of waste by heavy-duty tractor-trailer from Fremont, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay area, to a site 1,800 miles away could add 5 per cent to a particular product’s carbon footprint.
Such scores are important because they provide transparency to government and consumers into just how environmentally sustainable specific products are and lay out a choice between one company’s technology and another’s.
The roughly 20-year life of a solar panel still makes it some of the cleanest energy technology currently available. Producing solar is still significantly cleaner than fossil fuels. Energy derived from natural gas and coal-fired power plants, for example, creates more than 10 times more hazardous waste than the same energy created by a solar panel, according to Mulvaney.
The U.S. solar industry said it is reporting its waste, and sending it to approved storage facilities — thus keeping it out of the nation’s air and water. A coal-fired power plant, in contrast, sends mercury, cadmium and other toxins directly into the air, which pollutes water and land around the facility.
“Having this stuff go to … hazardous waste sites, that’s what you want to have happen,” said Adam Browning, executive director of the Vote Solar Initiative, a solar advocacy group.
Environmental advocates say the solar industry needs greater transparency, which is getting more complicated as manufacturing moves from the U.S. and Europe to less regulated places such as China and Malaysia.
The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, a watchdog group created in 1982 in response to severe environmental problems associated with the valley’s electronics industry, is now trying to keep the solar industry from making similar mistakes through a voluntary waste reporting “scorecard.” So far, only 14 of 114 companies contacted have replied. Those 14 were larger firms that comprised 51-per cent of the solar market share.
“We find the overall industry response rate to our request for environmental information to be pretty dismal for an industry that is considered ’green,”’ the group’s executive director, Sheila Davis, said in an email.
While there are no specific industry standards, Smirnow, head of the solar industry association, is spearheading a voluntary program of environmental responsibility. So far, only seven of the group’s nearly 81 manufacturers have signed the pledge.
“We want (our program) to be more demanding, but this is a young industry and right now manufacturing companies are focused on survival,” he said.
And here is the catch for homeowners wanting individual roof solar-----the GREEN CREDITS supposedly making it affordable are tied with global solar corporations maintaining control of panels and energy for ONE GRID. It's our house---it is their solar panel -----and as this article states selling these homes creates all new law----and guess what? The 99% are again the LOSERS.
This connection of our solar energy to ONE GRID is what makes these policies RIGHT WING-----NOT ENVIRONMENTAL-----HARMFUL TO CITIZENS AND ENVIRONMENT. It is not the solar panel -----it is the PUBLIC POLICY.
IT IS EASIER TO JUST GET RID OF ALL GLOBAL WALL STREET POLS AND PLAYERS.
These ALTERNATIVE ENERGY policies were never meant to be GREEN-----think who those 'labor and justice' organization 5% players were that sold all this ONE GRID as GREEN to allow global Wall Street Clinton/Obama neo-liberals to POSE LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE.
Selling a House with Solar Panels is Not for the Faint of Heart
By Stuart Kaplow on May 21, 2017 Posted in Energy, Environmental, Solar Panel
There are more than a Million houses in the U.S. with solar panels installed on the roof and that number is increasing. It can be difficult if not dangerous to fail to properly address rooftop solar panels at the time of sale of a house.
Among the most often made inquiries to this law firm arise from the failure to properly transfer installed solar panels.
We assist real estate owners and those acquiring property in positively leveraging the constraints and finding advantages in matters involving solar panels, often including new approaches and possibilities in this emergent arena.
But contract forms for the sale and purchase of a house are often provided by a local board of realtors and today those forms do not adequately address the new and only now evolving issues arising from a sale with rooftop solar panels.
There is no one homogenized solar panel ‘deal’ and the business terms including ‘who owns the panels’ varies from one transaction type to another, and in most instances these installations are governed by varying state laws. But commonly, residential solar panel leases provide language similar to, ..
You agree that the solar panel system is the Company’s personal property under the Uniform Commercial Code. You understand and agree that this is a lease and not a sale agreement. The Company owns the solar panel system for all purposes.
Obviously this creates issues when selling a house with solar panels on the roof that belong to someone else. It is common that residential solar panel leases provide language similar to,
If you sell your home you can transfer this lease and the monthly payments.
The person buying your home can sign a transfer agreement assuming all of your rights and obligations under this lease by qualifying in one of three ways: (1) the home buyer has a FICO score of 650 or greater; (2) the home buyer is paying cash for your home; or (3) if the home buyer does not qualify under (1) or (2), if the home buyer qualifies for a mortgage to purchase your home and the home buyer pays us a $250 credit exception fee.
Or, if you are moving to a new home in the same utility district, then where permitted by the local utility, the system can be moved to your new home. You will need to pay all costs associated with relocating the system, ..
Timing also needs to be considered when entering into a contract to sell a house,
You agree to give the Company at least 15 days but not more than 90 days prior written notice if you want someone to assume your lease obligations.
Many of the companies engaged in this business (.. but not all) file a UCC-1 financing statement in the real estate records that puts third parties on notice to their rights in the system. That fixture filing is in most states a lien or encumbrance against the system. But because in many residential transactions, title companies do not search the UCC-1 indexes (.. that are primarily used for business purposes), solar leases are regularly missed.
However, the express language of solar system leases cannot be missed,
EXCEPT AS SET FORTH IN THIS LEASE, YOU WILL NOT SUBLEASE, ASSIGN, SELL, PLEDGE OR IN ANY OTHER WAY TRANSFER YOUR INTEREST IN THE SYSTEM OR THIS LEASE WITHOUT OUR PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT.
That accepted, as suggested by the solar lease language above, there are options and fertile, enabling and desirable business terms that can add significant value to the real estate. The solar lease, as well as any power purchase agreement need to be considered in light of federal and state law (including tax laws) that stimulate new possibilities including create profit.
Shockingly, this is not only a residential problem. This firm regularly receives inquiries arising from commercial real estate transactions that have not adequately addressed matters of solar panels, PPAs, tax credits and the like.
Selling a house with solar panels is not for the faint of heart. There can be real legal jeopardy and significant dollar liability for those failing to address the issues associated with solar panels. It we can assist you in positively leveraging the constraints and finding advantages in matters of transactions involving solar panels do not hesitate to give Stuart Kaplow a call.
This is how we know MOTHER JONES is no longer a left social progressive journal----it like all other global Wall Street media always shout AFTER PLATFORMS ARE BUILT about how bad they are. Those tied to public policy on energy and environment KNEW THESE OBAMA/CLINTON NEO-LIBERAL POLICIES ON ALTERNATIVE ENERGY were bad back in 2009. Why is MOTHER JONES stating the obvious NOW? Same reason global Wall Street media will tell us all about the massive US Treasury and municipal bond fraud AFTER THE COMING ECONOMIC CRASH. This is how we know a media outlet is FAR-RIGHT WING WALL STREET.
We knew while Maryland's Governor O'Malley was touting these alternative energy platforms that they were very, very, very bad for 99% WE THE PEOPLE. But Maryland media----Maryland 'labor and justice' organizations created by global Johns Hopkins and the O'Malley political machine comes out every time to PRETEND ALL THIS IS LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE.
O'MALLEY-----RAWLINGS-BLAKE-----HOGAN-----PUGH-------BEN JEALOUS-----MAGGIE MCINTOSH----ALL THE SAME GLOBAL WALL STREET 5% POLS AND PLAYERS.
The Problem With Rooftop Solar That Nobody Is Talking About
Where does the green energy from your panels really go?
Tim McDonnellJanuary/February 2016 issue
A couple of years ago, Steven Weissman, an energy lawyer at the University of California-Berkeley, started to shop around for solar panels for his house. It seemed like an environmental no-brainer. For zero down, leading residential provider SolarCity would install panels on his roof. The company would own the equipment, and he’d buy the power it produces for less than he had been paying his electric utility. Save money, fight climate change. Sounds like a deal.
But while reading the contract, Weissman discovered the fine print that helps make that deal possible: SolarCity would also retain ownership of his system’s renewable energy credits. It’s the kind of detail your average solar customer wouldn’t notice or maybe care about. But to Weissman, it was an unexpected letdown.
To understand his hang-up, you need a bit of Electricity 101. If you have solar panels on your roof, the electrons they produce flow across the electric grid like water, following a path of least resistance. As they whiz around, electrons are impossible to track and look identical, whether they’re coming from solar panels, a coal plant, or whatever. But there is value in keeping tabs on the renewable ones, so energy wonks came up with renewable energy credits (RECs), a tradable financial instrument that corresponds to a certain amount of energy produced by a certain renewable source like solar or wind.
By selling the RECs instead of keeping them for yourself, you could just be helping the utility meet a goal it was already mandated to meet.Because RECs have value—ranging from under a penny to a buck or two for each hour’s worth of electricity your roof produces, depending on the state, companies like SolarCity can sell them and thus help justify giving you the solar panels for little to nothing. The biggest buyers of RECs are power companies looking to satisfy state-mandated clean-energy requirements, known as renewable portfolio standards. In effect, the power company pays for the right to claim the climate benefits of the panels on your roof.
It sounds like an esoteric distinction, but it matters: By selling the RECs instead of keeping them for yourself, you could just be helping the utility meet a goal it was already mandated to meet—thus helping excuse it from building more solar capacity itself. In other words, your direct net contribution to reducing greenhouse gas pollution is nil.
SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive argues that his REC-less customers are still part of the climate solution by creating the RECs in the first place. “By you installing solar, whether you own the REC or not, every kilowatt-hour [of electricity] you produce is clean,” he said. But the half-dozen energy economists and lawyers I spoke to—from universities, think tanks, REC brokers, and the federal government—said that solar leasing companies’ marketing can be misleading. “A lot of individuals buy green power because they want to know that the power they’re buying wouldn’t be there unless they bought it,” says Jennifer Martin, executive director of the Center for Resource Solutions, a nonprofit firm that certifies RECs’ authenticity. But if that’s what you think, and you don’t hold onto the RECs, “you’re not getting what you’re paying for.”
Politicians who see solar on their constituents’ rooftops are “going to be encouraged to dream big,” says one expert on renewables.So does that mean you should skip the panels altogether? Hardly. There are still many good reasons to go solar, including the possibility to save money on your electric bill. Meanwhile, the more people who adopt solar panels, the more the price drops, as panel manufacturers and installers get more efficient. This is already happening, as the cost of solar has plummeted 73 percent since 2006 and could soon be equal to or less than the cost of other electricity in many states. Industry insiders have a rule of thumb that every time production of panels doubles, solar prices drop 20 percent.
Then there’s the powerful “Prius effect,” wherein the conspicuous use of a green product like an electric vehicle or solar panels prompts neighbors to follow suit. That growing customer base can be a source of pressure on governors and state legislators to ramp up their climate ambitions. Politicians who see solar on their constituents’ rooftops are “going to be encouraged to dream big,” said Nathanael Greene, director of renewable-energy policy at the Natural Resources Defense Council. California, the country’s leading solar state, recently boosted its renewable portfolio standards to one of the most ambitious in the country, requiring utilities to get half of their power from renewables by 2030. By 2045, Hawaiian utilities will get 100 percent of their energy from renewables, in accordance with a law passed last summer.
Those factors were enough to tip Weissman in favor of installing panels. While he still thinks it’s misleading to market solar leases as providing green energy if they don’t include RECs, he ultimately decided to sign on the dotted line.
“I think if you have the ability to do so, you should be part of the conversation,” he said, “part of the effort to move us away from fossil fuels.”
And this is what we knew would happen as well------there is no profit for global solar corporations in installing solar panels on houses----building massive floating solar platforms globally----that's what OBAMA/CLINTON/O'MALLEY GLOBAL WALL STREET NEO-LIBERALS worked toward.
Now, the solar industry is so captured by global corporations ----laws passed giving them the power of infrastructure access---Federal and state funding all directed at these global SOLAR CORPORATIONS and then these corporations decide it is not profitable to offer home roof solar.
HOME ROOF SOLAR WAS THE LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE STANCE ON SOLAR---AND GLOBAL WALL STREET POLS DELIBERATELY BLOCKED THAT REAL GREEN POLICY.
Utilities wage campaign against rooftop solar
By Joby Warrick March 7, 2015
Three years ago, the nation’s top utility executives gathered at a Colorado resort to hear warnings about a grave new threat to operators of America’s electric grid: not superstorms or cyberattacks, but rooftop solar panels.
SolarCraft workers install solar panels on the roof of a home in San Rafael, Calif. According to a report by the Solar Foundation, the solar industry employs more workers than the coal-mining industry. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)If demand for residential solar continued to soar, traditional utilities could soon face serious problems, from “declining retail sales” and a “loss of customers” to “potential obsolescence,” according to a presentation prepared for the group. “Industry must prepare an action plan to address the challenges,” it said.
The warning, delivered to a private meeting of the utility industry’s main trade association, became a call to arms for electricity providers in nearly every corner of the nation. Three years later, the industry and its fossil-fuel supporters are waging a determined campaign to stop a home-solar insurgency that is rattling the boardrooms of the country’s government-regulated electric monopolies.
The campaign’s first phase—an industry push for state laws raising prices for solar customers—failed spectacularly in legislatures around the country, due in part to surprisingly strong support for solar energy from conservatives and evangelicals in traditionally “red states.” But more recently, the battle has shifted to public utility commissions, where industry backers have mounted a more successful push for fee hikes that could put solar panels out of reach for many potential customers.
In a closely watched case last month, an Arizona utility voted to impose a monthly surcharge of about $50 for “net metering,” a common practice that allows solar customers to earn credit for the surplus electricity they provide to the electric grid. Net metering makes home solar affordable by sharply lowering electric bills to offset the $10,000 to $30,000 cost of rooftop panels.
A Wisconsin utilities commission approved a similar surcharge for solar users last year, and a New Mexico regulator also is considering raising fees. In some states, industry officials have enlisted the help of minority groups in arguing that solar panels hurt the poor by driving up electricity rates for everyone else.
Utility companies take on solar power View Graphic “The utilities are fighting tooth and nail,” said Scott Peterson, director of the Checks and Balances Project, a Virginia nonprofit that investigates lobbyists’ ties to regulatory agencies. Peterson, who has tracked the industry’s two-year legislative fight, said the pivot to public utility commissions moves the battle to friendlier terrain for utilities. The commissions, usually made up of political appointees, “have enormous power, and no one really watches them,” Peterson said.
Industry officials say they support their customers’ right to generate electricity on their own property, but they say rooftop solar’s new popularity is creating a serious cost imbalance. While homeowners with solar panels usually see dramatic reductions in their electric bills, they still rely on the grid for electricity at night and on cloudy days. The utility collects less revenue, even though the infrastructure costs — from expensive power plants to transmission lines and maintenance crews — remain the same.
Ultimately, someone pays those costs, said David K. Owens, an executive vice president for Edison Electric Institute, the trade association that represents the nation’s investor-owned utilities.
“It’s not about profits; it’s about protecting customers,” said Owens, said. “There are unreasonable cost shifts that do occur [with solar]. There is a grid that everyone relies on, and you have to pay for that grid and pay for that infrastructure.”
Nearly 174,000 people work in the solar industry compared with close to 80,000 in the coal industry. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)Whether home-solar systems add significant costs to electric grids is the subject of intense debate. A Louisiana study last month concluded that solar roofs had resulted in cost shifts of more than $2 million that must be borne by Louisiana customers who lack solar panels. That study was immediately disputed by clean energy groups that pointed to extensive ties between the report’s authors and the fossil-fuel lobby.
Other studies commissioned by state regulators in Nevada and Mississippi found that any costs are generally outweighed by benefits. For one thing, researchers found, the excess energy generated by solar panels helps reduce the strain on electric grids on summer days when demand soars and utilities are forced to buy additional power at high rates. Other experts note that the shift to solar energy is helping states meet new federal requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also producing thousands of new jobs. The residential solar industry currently employs about 174,000 people nationwide, or twice as many as the number of coal miners.
“Independent studies show that distributed solar benefits all ratepayers by preventing the need to build new, expensive power plants or transmission lines,” said Matthew Kasper, a fellow at the Energy & Policy Institute, a pro-solar think tank. “Utilities make their money by building big, new infrastructure projects and then sending ratepayers the bill, which is exactly why utilities want to eliminate solar.”
We think the hundreds of billions of dollars to industrial solar platforms is the same expense.
Solar-panel costs plunge
Residential solar panels have been widely available since the 1970s, but advances in the past decade have transformed home solar energy in many areas from an expensive novelty to a cost-competitive alternative to traditional power.
The average price of photovoltaic cells has plummeted 60 percent since 2010, thanks to lower production costs and more-efficient designs. Solar’s share of global energy production is climbing steadily, and a study last week by researchers from Cambridge University concluded that photovoltaics will soon be able to out-compete fossil fuels, even if oil prices drop to as low as $10 a barrel.
In the United States, utilities have embraced solar projects of their own making, building large solar farms that produce nearly 60 percent of the electricity that comes from the sun’s rays.
“We are pro-solar,” said Edison’s Owens. “We are putting in more solar than any other industry.”
But the arrival of cheaper solar technology has also brought an unexpected challenge to the industry’s bottom line: As millions of residential and business customers opt for solar, revenue for utilities is beginning to decline. Industry-sponsored studies have warned the trend could eventually lead to a radical restructure of energy markets, similar to earlier upheavals with phone-company monopolies.
“One can imagine a day when battery-storage technology or micro turbines could allow customers to be electric grid independent,” said a 2013 Edison study. “To put this into perspective, who would have believed 10 years ago that traditional wire line telephone customers could economically ‘cut the cord’?”
Support from conservatives
The utility industry’s playbook for slowing the growth of residential solar is laid out in a few frames of the computer slide show presented at an Edison-sponsored retreat in September 2012, in a lakeside resort hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo. Despite a bland title—“Facing the Challenges of a Distribution System in Transition”—the Edison document portrays solar systems as a serious, long-term threat to the survival of traditional electricity providers.
Throughout the country, it noted, lawmakers and regulatory agencies were “promoting policies that are accelerating this transition — subsidies are growing.” The document, provided to The Washington Post by the Energy & Policy Institute, called for a campaign of “focused outreach” targeting key groups that could influence the debate: state legislatures, regulatory agencies and sympathetic consumer-advocacy groups.
Two-and-a-half years later, evidence of the “action plan” envisioned by Edison officials can be seen in states across the country. Legislation to make net metering illegal or more costly has been introduced in nearly two dozen state houses since 2013. Some of the proposals were virtual copies of model legislation drafted two years ago by the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a nonprofit organization with financial ties to billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch.
Most of the bills that have been considered so far have been either rejected or vetoed, with the most-striking defeats coming in Republican strongholds, such as Indiana and Utah. There, anti-solar legislation came under a surprisingly fierce attack from free-market conservatives and even evangelical groups, many of which have installed solar panels on their churches.
“Conservatives support solar — they support it even more than progressives do,” said Bryan Miller, co-chairman of the Alliance for Solar Choice and a vice president of public policy for Sunrun, a California solar provider. “It’s about competition in its most basic form. The idea that you should be forced to buy power from a state-sponsored monopoly and not have an option is about the least conservative thing you can imagine.”
Where legislatures failed to deliver, power companies have sought help from regulatory agencies, chiefly the public utility commissions that set rates and fees that can be charged by electricity providers. Here, the results have been more encouraging for power companies.
Last month’s decision to slap monthly surcharges on solar customers in south-central Arizona was hailed as a breakthrough for the utilities in a state that has turned back several similar attempts in the past two years. The Tempe, Ariz., Salt River Project, one of Arizona’s largest utilities, approved the new fee despite furious opposition from solar users, including about 500 people who packed the commission’s hearing room for the Feb. 26 vote.
Solar companies already have filed suit to stop a similar fee increase approved last year by Wisconsin commissioners, and others are watching closely to see if New Mexico’s Public Service Co. will adopt a proposal to impose a monthly surcharge of up to $35 on solar customers there.
Regulators in each of the three states have cited fairness as the reason for the proposed increases. But solar advocates say the real injustice is the ability of electric monopolies to destroy a competitor that offers potential benefits both to consumers and to society.
“It’s really about utilities’ fear that solar customers are taking away demand,” said Angela Navarro, an energy expert with the Southern Environmental Law Center. “These customers are installing solar at their own cost and providing a valuable resource: additional electricity for the grid at the times when the utilities need it most. And it’s all carbon-free.”
HERE IS OUR OLD FRIEND THE GLOBAL 1% ELON MUSK----he must be connected to every Obama and Clinton neo-liberal technology deal these several years. If alternative energy is local---if the businesses and manufacturing servicing and making the solar panels is local----if the alternative energy is regulated with oversight ---
CITIZENS HAVE VOICE AND PROTECTION AND SOLAR WOULD REALLY BE GREEN.
Here in Baltimore, our Baltimore City Council and Maryland Assembly pols are told by global Wall Street Baltimore Development and global Johns Hopkins which alternative energy global corporation the HOPKIN'S ENDOWNMENT and hedge fund is invested ---and that is the wind, solar, fracking corporation brought to Baltimore. Then these same global Wall Street pols in Baltimore do a little INSIDER TRADING investment for themselves----AND VOILA---WE HAVE BALTIMORE'S PUBLIC POLICY ON ALTERNATIVE ENERGY WITH 99% OF CITIZENS AS LOSERS.
Customers tell horror stories of solar company that gets $422M in tax dollars
By Tori Richards / February 26, 2014 / News / 443
Part 1 of 11 in the series SolarCity
By Tori Richards | Watchdog.org
SUPER STOCK? CEO Elon Musk at the NASDAQ stock exchange brings SolarCity public in 2012.
We all get them — telemarketing callers pushing home solar-energy systems that will save us from rising electric bills.
Most of us generally hang up. But in 2012, Jeff Leeds, who lives in the Northern California town of Half Moon Bay, listened. His 3,100-square-foot home features 91 incandescent bucket lights, a 180-gallon fish tank, three large refrigerator-freezers and a huge entertainment system. His electric bill was averaging $350 per month.
The sales pitch Leeds was hearing on the phone sounded ideal: Lease a system from SolarCity, the nation’s second-largest solar electrical contractor, for a low monthly fee and reap the rewards of cheap electricity.
“For a $600 fee up front, I would pay $182 a month for the next 20 years,” Leeds said. “They have a performance guarantee. If I don’t make enough electricity, they said, ‘No problem, don’t worry, we will write you a check.’ I thought, ‘I’m covered.’”
A SIGHT FOR SORE EYES: Jeffrey Leeds is reminded of SolarCity every time he looks at his house.
Tacked on to that would be what the company called a small bill from the local utility company allowing the customer to use the grid and to cover the use of any electricity Leeds drew from the utility rather than from his SolarCity solar panels.
Now, 15 months later, the local utility company has raised its rates and instead of a lower bill, Leeds is pushing $500 a month with no way out for the next two decades. And he has the eyesore of solar panels that cover most of his roof.
“As a customer, you have no say,” Leeds said. “With a solar lease, you are putting the stuff on your roof. You have a signed contract with the devil and you are stuck with the stuff.”
SolarCity looked into Leeds’ case after receiving a call from Watchdog.org and offered this comment: “Mr. Leeds’ system did produce less than we guaranteed last year so he will be compensated for that under his performance guarantee.”
Was Leeds’ case an aberration?
SolarCity has generated a high number of cases of shoddy installation, said Gerald Chapman, building inspector manager for San Mateo County, which includes Half Moon Bay.
“SolarCity seems to be the biggest offender,” Chapman told Watchdog.org.
By contrast, he said, SolarCity’s small business competitors — he called them “the little guy” — “wants to do it right.”
“We pride ourselves on installation quality, but if we do make a mistake, we make it right,” countered Jonathan Bass, SolarCity’s vice president of communications. “We are rated A-plus by the Better Business Bureau, the highest rating they provide. Our work has been inspected and approved by more U.S. building departments than any other solar provider.”
Who is SolarCity?
The Obama administration’s 2009 stimulus package created an open trough of cash subsidies, leading to an explosion of solar-energy companies. Some of those — Solyndra is the most prominent example — went bust spectacularly. But such high-profile failures and reports of widespread abuse have done little to dampen entrepreneurial enthusiasm.
With rebates, tax breaks and the steady climb of electric rates, more and more Americans have been signing on for solar. But retail solar technology remains expensive — upward of $20,000 per home.
That’s where SolarCity comes in.
Founded in California in 2006 by Elon Musk — PayPal and SpaceX founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, creators of the luxury electric car — SolarCity leverages a unique business model to make solar more affordable. It leases systems to homeowners, typically for a 20-year period.
SolarCity has accepted more than $11 million in federal stimulus funds to make its business run. But the real public support appears elsewhere. Because SolarCity technically owns the energy systems it installs, SolarCity — not the homeowner — earns the federal tax break intended as an incentive to go solar. So far the company has earned $411 million in such tax breaks. The company also may earn additional income on state subsidies.
If that lease is a financial boon to SolarCity, it may prove problematic for SolarCity consumers. No matter how rapidly solar technology evolves, the SolarCity lease ties each homeowner to technology that is cutting edge only at the signing of the 20-year contract.
“Our approach is to install systems to the highest engineering standards,” SolarCity says on its web site. “SolarCity has assembled one of the most experienced clean-energy project design and installation teams in the world.”
The marketing has paid off. SolarCity claims some 90,000 customers in 14 states, and says it signs a new customer every five minutes. The company says its customers include Home Depot, Walmart and the U.S. government.
SolarCity vs. inspectors
Yet consumer-oriented sites like Yelp and the Better Business Bureau , the organization that rates SolarCity an A+, feature criticism from unhappy customers whose complaints follow a similar theme — shoddy installation, poor customer service and hidden fees. Many of the postings have an almost panic-stricken tone as the consumers plead for some sort of resolution to their nightmarish scenario.
More often than not, the negative comments attract the attention of SolarCity officials, who post resolutions to the various problems. Many of the consumers complain that they have spent months trying to remedy faulty installation, only to receive either continuous boilerplate responses from customer service or no response at all.
One California man got a front-row seat at the conflict between SolarCity installers and municipal building inspectors who are sent to sign off on the system before it is allowed to operate.
“The city came out during installation and an inspector gave them the codes and requirements,” said the consumer, who asked not to be identified. “The city guy told them exactly what he wanted and what was necessary, and they still put in the wrong breakers and the wrong wiring. The inspector came back out and looked at it and said, ‘You guys put the wrong breakers on — I told you guys what I needed for the code.’”
The consumer said nearly three weeks went by with no word from SolarCity. He finally called and talked to a manager who said the system had a design problem.
“I said, ‘What do the designs have to do with the breakers? Why not have the right design from the get-go?’” he said.
In all, he claimed, it took four months to finish.
Four months was blazing fast compared to the experience of San Diego lawyer Andrew Athanassious. He first talked to SolarCity in June 2013, eager to get a system installed on his massive home before a large September 2013 utility rate hike. Despite a contract, Athanassious said SolarCity later told him his roof was “not the right material” and he’d have to pay an additional $7,500.
Athanassious is no building contractor, but he said SolarCity’s installers should have known what they were getting into.
“It’s obvious what kind of roof I have. It’s clay tile. It’s not like you could think it’s anything else,” he said.
That was on Aug. 1. Athanssious said SolarCity virtually ignored him for the next two months. He finally agreed to split the cost of the system with SolarCity because they were still the lowest-priced contractor and because finding another solar company would take too much time. SolarCity finally installed the system in October. Unlike Leeds, subsequent electricity costs haven’t been a problem. Athanassious’ utility bill was $410 per month and now it’s zero. He pays SolarCity $357 per month for a lease, saving about $50 a month.
SolarCity responded: “Mr. Athanassious’ system did require a roof upgrade, and we sourced it for him at the lowest cost.”
But Athanssious has problems that remain. During installation, contractors rewired his swimming pool heater incorrectly when they were working on the home’s electric panel. They still haven’t fixed that, he said. And SolarCity has started tacking on $15 per month to Athanassious’ bill because he refuses to pay via direct deposit, a surcharge hidden in the contract.
Other consumers have been hit with the $15 fee as well, and they’ve complained on Yelp and to the Better Business Bureau.
“When I signed up, I was led to believe that they had online bill paying,” Athanassious said. “When I called them, they said they don’t have online payment capability.”
Stefano Chioetto of Denver has his system installed last February. A building inspector discovered that the installed inverter was incompatible with the utility grid and the system would not operate. For the next 50 days, Chioetto checked with SolarCity on the progress of a replacement part. He said he was given only vague answers like,
“We are doing our best and are committed to fixing your system ASAP,” according to his Better Business Bureau complaint.
“They found out that the inverter they actually needed was very expensive and they had to shop around and had no idea where to find it to fit in their budget,” Chioetto told Watchdog.org, saying he discovered this from an outside solar energy expert that he contacted.
Meanwhile, the summer months had arrived and Chioetto was annoyed that he couldn’t use his panels. After he complained to the BBB, the problem was fixed almost immediately — two months after the building inspector’s discovery.
But now he has a new problem. Chioetto lives in a townhome and shares a roof with his neighbor, who has decided to get solar panels of his own. He discovered that SolarCity installed the panels about 18 inches onto the neighbor’s side of the roof even though the dividing wall is clearly visible even from the ground, both men said.
“It’s very obvious that it’s going over a foot and a half,” said the neighbor, who did not want to be named. “You can absolutely see the property line without going on the roof.”
SolarCity admitted that was a problem.
“Mr. Chioetto had a grid parameter that is unusual in a residential site, and we ultimately found a compatible inverter that could support it, and we are redesigning his system to appease his neighbor and still offer him the same performance,” SolarCity said in its emailed statement.
The neighbor decided against using SolarCity because it kept changing terms of the contract by continuing to reduce the amount of electricity that would be produced. Meanwhile, he says, SolarCity hasn’t fixed the encroachment.
“They said they are researching modules that are smaller, and it’s back-ordered until May,” the neighbor said. “I don’t know if I believe that.”
If the US did not have global technology economy----we would not need all these toxic chemicals----certainly not for ALTERNATIVE GREEN ENERGY. Global online technology corporations have a goal of killing our jobs----killing our environment----killing our freedom, privacy, liberty----
SO WHY ARE WE THE PEOPLE ALLOWING FOR MOVING FORWARD? LET'S JUST GET RID OF THESE GLOBAL WALL STREET POLS AND PLAYERS.
Sep 5 2014, 2:51 pm ET
Rare Earth: Afghanistan Sits on $1 Trillion in Minerals
Despite being one of the poorest nations in the world, Afghanistan may be sitting on one of the richest troves of minerals in the world, valued at nearly $1 trillion, scientists say.
Afghanistan, a country nearly the size of Texas, is loaded with minerals deposited by the violent collision of the Indian subcontinent with Asia. The U.S. Geological Survey began inspecting what mineral resources Afghanistan had after U.S.-led forces drove the Taliban from power in the country in 2004.
In 2006, U.S. researchers flew airborne missions to conduct magnetic, gravity and hyperspectral surveys over Afghanistan. [Infographic: Facts About Rare Earth Minerals]
The aerial surveys determined that Afghanistan may hold 60 million tons of copper, 2.2 billion tons of iron ore, 1.4 million tons of rare earth elements such as lanthanum, cerium and neodymium, and lodes of aluminum, gold, silver, zinc, mercury and lithium. For instance, the Khanneshin carbonatite deposit in Afghanistan's Helmand province is valued at $89 billion, full as it is with rare earth elements.
"Afghanistan is a country that is very, very rich in mineral resources," geologist Jack Medlin, program manager of the USGS Afghanistan project, told LiveScience. The scientists' work was detailed in the Aug. 15 issue of the journal Science.
In 2010, the USGS data attracted the attention of the U.S. Department of Defense's Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, which is entrusted with rebuilding Afghanistan. The task force valued Afghanistan's mineral resources at $908 billion, while the Afghan government's estimate is $3 trillion.
Over the past four years, USGS and TFBSO have embarked on dozens of excursions to confirm the aerial findings, resulting in what are essentially treasure maps for mining companies.
The Afghan government has already signed a 30-year, $3 billion contract with the China Metallurgical Group, a state-owned mining enterprise based in Beijing, to exploit the Mes Aynak copper deposit, and awarded mining rights for the country's biggest iron deposit to a group of Indian state-run and private companies
There we go----national energy grid goes global ------these investors are simply part of ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE GLOBAL 1%----Now UK citizens have absolutely no sovereign rights to their own energy grid as UK is Trans Atlantic Trade Pact-----the US version of TPP.
National Grid sells majority stake in UK gas infrastructure to Chinese and Qatari state investors
The network supplies 11 million homes with energy through 82,000 miles of pipeline – its sale will reignite concerns over foreign ownership of critical infrastructure
Theresa May had said earlier this year that such deals with foreign investors would face tighter regulation ReutersNational Grid has agreed to sell a majority stake in the UK’s gas pipe network to a team of investors, including the Chinese and Qatari states.
The UK's power network operator confirmed it is offloading the 61 per cent shareholding to a consortium led by Australian investment bank Macquarie in a deal that values the unit at around £13.8bn.
The division controls an important part of the country's infrastructure, which delivers gas to 11 million homes through 82,000 miles of pipeline, and its sale will reignite concerns about the ownership of critical national assets by foreign investors.
In August Theresa May said such deals would face tighter regulation as she gave the green light to the French and Chinese-funded Hinkley Point nuclear reactor.
National Grid said it would distribute a £150m voluntary payment to benefit British energy customers, while some £4bn of the proceeds will be returned to the company’s shareholders.
It will keep 31 per cent of the business but said it could potentially sell another 14 per cent stake to the consortium under the terms of the deal.
The sale, which is set to complete before the end of March next year, comes as part of a move to rebalance National Grid's business towards higher growth areas and create extra value for shareholders.
Dave Prentis, Unison union general secretary, said: “The experience of Thames Water customers when Macquarie was running the show should have been a red flag to ministers and regulators as how unsuitable this company is to be in charge of the UK's gas supply.
Hinkley Point nuclear power station gets the green light
”Macquarie has poor form already – in building up huge company debt, repatriating massive dividends to the southern hemisphere and charging customers more for a much poorer service.
“The company has already proved it can’t be trusted with the nation’s water supply, but now it is to be in charge of gas pipes to millions of homes and businesses.
“The Government has said it wants to invest in UK infrastructure, yet these are not terribly encouraging first steps. It suggests ministers have not given much thought to an industrial strategy, not do they seem to have much desire to retain key parts of the nation’s infrastructure in UK hands.”
John Pettigrew, chief executive of National Grid, said the deal “represents an important milestone in the evolution of National Grid and is a good outcome for our customers, employees, and shareholders”.
We posted yesterday an article about Canada building a nuclear waste storage facility with a local citizen talking about why he didn't see the need to spend billions of dollars for containment BELOW ground when some millions can be spent securing waste above ground. CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA took Federal agency funding tied to SUPER-FUND TOXIC WASTE CLEANUP these few decades and sent it overseas to expand global corporations leaving this waste to seep into local ground water----making cleanup next to impossible. Global Wall Street pols have no intentions of TOXIC CLEANUP---they are FAR-RIGHT WING FOLKS.
Today we will talk about the mirror image of public policy in US and that is again in our old friend NEVADA where the same underground nuclear waste storage facility was built costing billions of dollars----AND THEN WAS DETERMINED TO NOT BE USED TO STORE NUCLEAR WASTE by the same global Wall Street Clinton neo-liberal pols that collected all those billions of dollars......
Harry is quite the environmental poser as he turns Nevada into a Chinese-style toxic dump. Let' look at US version of nuclear storage facility that will never be used as such.
'Under a 1982 law, the federal government was supposed to begin moving nuclear waste to a permanent location by 1998. There is currently more than 70,000 metric tons of waste stored at U.S. nuclear power plants'.
'Entering the presidency in 1981, Reagan implemented sweeping new political and economic initiatives. His supply-side economic policies, dubbed "Reaganomics", advocated tax rate reduction to spur economic growth, control of the money supply to curb inflation, economic deregulation, and reduction in government spending. In his first term he survived an assassination attempt, spurred the War on Drugs, and fought public sector labor'.
Reagan comes to Presidency in 1981 with the intentions of starting a NUCLEAR ARMS RACE WITH RUSSIA and right after in 1982 Congress funds YUCCA MOUNTAIN telling the American people its OK we are going to be responsible and store nuclear waste to keep citizens safe. What is happening today? A second Reagan nuclear arms race with Russia started by Obama and again we are talking about Congress and Trump pushing YUCCA MOUNTAIN. Now, call me TIN FOIL-----but I don't see a Trump worried about nuclear waste AT ALL---in fact Obama and we will see Trump as well was all about FAST TRACKING TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT which allows a nation's environmental laws to be ignored. Harry Reid of Nevada was RAGING TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT---he was raging US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE ------so he was not ANTI-YUCCA.
As the quote below states----the costs of moving US nuclear waste to YUCCA would be high----what do far-right wing global Wall Street pols say about regulations that cost money? They could care less about the nuclear waste leaching around the nation. There will be no storage of nuclear waste at YUCCA.
TRUMP AND CONGRESS IS SIMPLY DOING WHAT REAGAN-ERA POLS DID ----STARTING A NUCLEAR RACE MEANS PRETENDING YOU ARE GOING TO KEEP CITIZENS SAFE FROM TOXICITY.
'Moving a nation’s accumulated nuclear waste to one spot — or even a few centralized spots — would be expensive. And it would involve complicated cooperation among nuclear companies that typically operated independently. So for two decades, almost nothing happened. Without serious political pressure, nothing would happen. But few people knew or cared enough to force legislative action'.
The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump, a political hot potato, is back
Tom DiChristopher | @tdichristopher
Thursday, 16 Mar 2017 | 3:02 PM ETCNBC.com
A "no trespassing" sign outside the proposed nuclear waste dump site of Yucca Mountain in Nevada.
The White House's budget blueprint released Thursday seeks to revive spending for a hotly contested facility in Nevada that would store the nation's nuclear waste.
President Donald Trump is asking Congress to approve $120 million in spending to restart licensing activity at the Yucca Mountain repository and fund an interim storage program. That would allow development at the remote site located about 100 miles from Las Vegas to start up again.
Most Nevadans oppose the plan, which would consolidate the U.S. nuclear waste load currently spread across the country in their state. The project has essentially been on ice since 2010, when then-President Barack Obama suspended licensing for the Yucca Mountain facility.
Recently retired Democratic Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, one-time majority leader, used his influence to block funding for the project in past budgets. Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, who now holds Reid's seat, has introduced legislation that would require states to consent to storing high levels of nuclear waste — giving Nevada the ability to refuse to accept it.
On Thursday, Cortez Masto said in a statement that Trump's "proposal to invest in Yucca Mountain is a nonstarter — it is dead, it has been for years, and that will not change."
Sen. Dean Heller, Republican of Nevada, also opposes the plan.
"Washington needs to understand what Nevada has been saying for years: We will not be the nation's nuclear waste dump. This project was ill-conceived from the beginning and has already flushed billions of taxpayer dollars down the drain," he said in a statement.
Congress directed the U.S. Department of Energy to study Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste repository in 1987. The agency filed for a construction permit there in 2008.
The budget proposal puts Energy Secretary Rick Perry in a tough spot. While serving as governor of Texas, he said Nevadans shouldn't be forced to house the country's nuclear waste in their state if they don't want to.
Asked during his Senate confirmation hearing whether that was still his view, Perry told Cortez Masto he would "happily salute" her legislation if it were passed.
Locations of nuclear waste for geologic disposal (2002), source: Department of Energy
Perry pledged to solve the dilemma over what to do with America's nuclear waste, but offered few concrete solutions.
"Hopefully this is the beginning of seeing real movement, real management of an issue that I think no longer can sit and be used as a political football, one that must be addressed," he said.
Under a 1982 law, the federal government was supposed to begin moving nuclear waste to a permanent location by 1998. There is currently more than 70,000 metric tons of waste stored at U.S. nuclear power plants.
The industry has pressured D.C. to find a solution. Energy companies have mounted legal challenges that have cost the government more than $5 billion in settlements — a figure that could balloon to $29 billion by 2022, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute, a lobbying group.
States that currently store nuclear waste have also pushed for a resolution. This week, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the federal government to force a vote on the Yucca Mountain site.
I would suggest to our citizens in Nevada and the region if Nevada is well on its way to being a toxic waste dump for technology waste------rare earth mining----nuclear testing-------why in the world would anyone think Nevada pols care about YUCCA? Harry Reid did not----he PRETENDED to be left social progressive on environment to be elected as a DEMOCRAT.
We do not see any left Democrats in Nevada---we see only far-right wing global Wall Street Clinton neo-liberals MOVING FORWARD US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE AND TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT policies that say-----no US environmental laws can cause global corporations to lose profits.
Remember, Nevada was where Bernie Sanders' supporters were blocked from election venues told to SHUT UP with CA global Wall Street neo-liberals coming in to help silence REAL left social progressives ----major Democratic primary fraud in Nevada.
Whether calling the 4th Industrial Revolution in US GREEN with a fake Paris Climate Change Accord or now this revitalization of YUCCA at the start of a new nuclear arms race-----IT IS ALL FAR-RIGHT WING GLOBAL WALL STREET PROGRESSIVE POSING ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES.
Nevada delegation vows to stop Trump plan to fund nuclear waste dumping at Yucca Mountain
by Nathan O'Neal
Thursday, March 16th 2017
LAS VEGAS (KSNV NEWS3LV) — President Trump’s budget proposal includes $120 million in nuclear waste funding, part of which could be used toward the licensing of Yucca Mountain as a storage site in Nevada.
A bipartisan coalition of Nevada lawmakers is organizing to stop it.
An underground storage facility for nuclear waste sits about 100 miles outside Las Vegas. The controversial storage operations at Yucca Mountain was dropped under the Obama administration but now a new budget proposal from the Trump administration looks to revive it.
“We absolutely reject what their proposal is,” said Republican Sen. Dean Heller. “This is opening up old scabs and there’s no upside to the state of Nevada.
Nevada’s entire congressional delegation and Gov. Brian Sandoval united beyond party lines to oppose the White House’s plan which could make Nevada the country’s dumping ground for nuclear waste.
“It is throwing more money down a hole … which literally Yucca Mountain is. It is dead. It is going to be very difficult to reopen,” said Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto.
Any nuclear waste would likely have to travel through the heart of Las Vegas and through millions of residents and tourists to get to Yucca Mountain.
The casino industry’s top lobbying group – the American Gaming Association-- calls it reckless and dangerous.
“The sheer thought of bringing radioactive waste within near proximity of the world’s premier tourist destination really is laughable,” said Whit Askew of the AGA.
Sens. Cortez Masto and Heller co-authored a letter to urge the Department of Energy to ditch the plan.
“We'll fight. I'll do everything I possibly can. I'll fight until the bitter end,” said Heller.
President Trump’s budget proposal still has to make it through Congress. If it makes its way through Congress, Nevada’s attorney general has already signaled along legal fight to prevent the re-opening of Yucca Mountain.
What we have seen during CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA is the construction of many underground 'bunkers' ----one right under the Capital Building---so the global Wall Street 1% and their 2% have safe haven as the US is brought to third world COLONIAL status. Lots of civil unrest in store and these ROBBER BARONS AND THEIR POLS want to have a quick exit.
Where the Congressional bunker is big enough for both Houses of Congress----the goal with underground bunkers is to build a few big enough for THE WORST OF SOCIETY to survive and do their good work.
We would watch to see if YUCCA MOUNTAIN is just that underground bunker and we would tell Canadians shouting against their NUCLEAR WASTE UNDERGROUND STORAGE site costing billions of dollars---to watch for the same. Canada under Trudeau is global Wall Street neo-liberal---Trudeau is Clinton -----and Canada once top in environmentalism as with our US west coast----is fast becoming that toxic wasteland.
The Doomsday Bunker For Billionaires
by Tyler Durden
Jun 14, 2015 10:13 PM
Two months ago we went inside the Fed's "doomsday" bunker: a 135,000 square foot facility built in 1969, and nestled inside Mount Pony, east of Culpeper, Virginia that housed some $4 billion in hard currency as well as the central hub of FedWire, the computer network which allows the nation’s banks to communicate and transfer funds.
It was meant to ensure that the US banking system could still function in the event there were still any banks left in the post-apocalyptic world, Culpeper Switch (officially the Federal Reserve System’s Communications and Records Center) was equipped with everything a Fed official would need to survive in the wake of a nuclear holocaust.
And yet, it was in a word, "spartan" even by 1970s standards. After all who wants to greet the post-nuclear holocaust world surrounded by sterile plastic, a Fed spreadsheet (which caused the nuclear holocaust in the first place) and all the cash in the world, especially since the only currency accepted is silver, gold and of course, lead (not to mention a bunker-full of voodoo economists).
Below we see our 99% working hard to assure public policy on environment and hazardous waste is addressed----the problem comes when WE THE PEOPLE do not understand goals of policy around toxic waste ------global Wall Street is MOVING FORWARD to making the US completely deregulated against any environmental protections. It is gearing up to SUPER-SIZE TOXIC WASTE in US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones. The transport of nuclear material-----toxic chemicals will be tied to building PRODUCTS IN MANUFACTURING PLANTS. So global Wall Street WANTS to see movement of these materials grow ---not to nuclear waste storage---but to global corporate campuses and global factories. They will be moving these nuclear materials----that toxic chemical needed for manufacturing through our US PORTS------this is what public meetings on HAZARDOUS MATERIAL transport has as a goal----only, they are not telling WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% this----they are talking about nuclear waste storage.
A PORT OF BALTIMORE WILL SEE THOSE RARE EARTH MINERALS MINED AT THE AFGHANISTAN SITES BEING BOMBED BY OBAMA AND TRUMP ----MOVED TO OUR WEST COAST TECHNOLOGY MANUFACTURING CENTERS AND OUR EAST COAST MANUFACTURING CENTERS SLATED TO COME TO GREATER BALTIMORE.
The Port of Pittsburgh Commission is a government agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that manages the port of Pittsburgh, which is the second-largest inland port in the United States.
Pittsburgh's port ranks as the 26th largest port overall in the United States with almost 27 million short tons of river cargo for 2015, the port ranked 15th largest in the U.S. when measured in domestic trade.
See why global Wall Street pols have to start talking about storing nuclear waste right NOW.
Transporting Nuclear Waste: A Meeting with Dr. Gordon Edwards
Transporting Nuclear Waste: A Meeting with Dr. Gordon Edwards
Posted on: June 7, 2017
June 16, 2017 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Town of Lincoln Offices - 4800 S Service Rd, Beamsville, ON L0R 1B1, Canada
Niagara District Council of Women
On Friday June 16th, the Niagara District Council of Women is bringing highly respected nuclear expert, Dr. Gordon Edwards, to Niagara as a guest speaker. Dr. Edwards will respond to concerns and questions about the potential shipments of liquid high level, extremely dangerous, nuclear waste containing Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) by road through Niagara.
There are many questions that have not been answered by the federal government or the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission:
What is the nature of the liquid radioactive material to be trucked over our roads?
Has highly radioactive liquid of this kind ever been transported before? Why now?
How dangerous is this material in case of a major accident?
Can leakage occur?
Are there practical and affordable alternatives that would make these shipments unnecessary?
NDCW is inviting first responders, transport workers, First Nations leaders, the public, local, provincial and federal representatives and community affiliates to attend this important meeting.
Doctor Edwards is renowned for his articles, presentations and reports on radiation standards and nuclear waste; he has been featured on radio and television, as well as worked as a consultant for governmental bodies, such as the Auditor General of Canada. Dr. Edwards has received many awards, including the Rosalie Bertell Lifetime Achievement Award and the YMCA Peacemaker Medallion.
This event is hosted by the Niagara District Council of Women.
As this article makes clear----not only will there be a nuclear bomb-making spree-----with all the necessary ingredients flowing to our US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones-----like Baltimore-----our US government has a different CONFIGURATION TODAY then it did before/during Reagan. Bush era privatized all Defense Industry and Obama continued this ---trillions of dollars in DOD fraud created what are today global multi-national defense industries no longer tied to America----and they will be the global corporations in our Greater city regions controlling our nuclear arsenal ----controlling movement of rare earth minerals to global factories in our FTZ US city factories. No US government involved----no regulations----no oversight----no citizens' voice.
This article shows the states already mentioned in southwest----but all these global corporations have subsidiaries across the nation----SAIC is global Johns Hopkins so we can be sure Baltimore and its port is slated to see a flow of rare earth minerals----toxic chemicals----nuclear components.
THIS IS WHY TRUMP AND CONGRESSIONAL POLS ARE TALKING ABOUT YUCCA AND NUCLEAR STORAGE.
Meet the Private Corporations Building Our Nuclear Arsenal
Privatizing our nuclear arsenal development is not only dangerous, but incredibly inefficient.By Richard Krushnic and Jonathan Alan KingSeptember 22, 2015
The Titan II ICBM at the Titan Missile Museum in Arizona (Steve Jurvetson/CC BY-NC 2.0)
Imagine for a moment a genuine absurdity: Somewhere in the United States, the highly profitable operations of a set of corporations were based on the possibility that sooner or later your neighborhood would be destroyed and you and all your neighbors annihilated. And not just you and your neighbors, but others and their neighbors across the planet. What would we think of such companies, of such a project, of the mega-profits made off it?
This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.com.
In fact, such companies do exist. They service the American nuclear weapons industry and the Pentagon’s vast arsenal of potentially world-destroying weaponry. They make massive profits doing so, live comfortable lives in our neighborhoods, and play an active role in Washington politics. Most Americans know little or nothing about their activities and the media seldom bother to report on them or their profits, even though the work they do is in the service of an apocalyptic future almost beyond imagining.
Add to the strangeness of all that another improbability. Nuclear weapons have been in the headlines for years now and yet all attention in this period has been focused like a spotlight on a country that does not possess a single nuclear weapon and, as far as the American intelligence community can tell, has shown no signs of actually trying to build one. We’re speaking, of course, of Iran. Almost never in the news, on the other hand, are the perfectly real arsenals that could actually wreak havoc on the planet, especially our own vast arsenal and that of our former superpower enemy, Russia.
In the recent debate over whether President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran will prevent that country from ever developing such weaponry, you could search high and low for any real discussion of the US nuclear arsenal, even though the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists estimates that it contains about 4,700 active warheads. That includes a range of bombs and land-based and submarine-based missiles. If, for instance, a single Ohio Class nuclear submarine—and the Navy has 14 of them equipped with nuclear missiles—were to launch its 24 Trident missiles, each with 12 independently targetable megaton warheads, the major cities of any targeted country in the world could be obliterated and millions of people would die.
Indeed, the detonations and ensuing fires would send up so much smoke and particulates into the atmosphere that the result would be a nuclear winter, leading to worldwide famine and the possible deaths of hundreds of millions, including Americans (no matter where the missiles went off). Yet, as if in a classic Dr. Seuss book, one would have to add: that is not all, oh, no, that is not all. At the moment, the Obama administration is planning for the spending of up to a trillion dollars over the next 30 years to modernize and upgrade America’s nuclear forces.
Given that the current US arsenal represents extraordinary overkill capacity—it could destroy many Earth-sized planets—none of those extra taxpayer dollars will gain Americans the slightest additional “deterrence” or safety. For the nation’s security, it hardly matters whether, in the decades to come, the targeting accuracy of missiles whose warheads would completely destroy every living creature within a multi-mile radius was reduced from 500 meters to 300 meters. If such “modernization” has no obvious military significance, why the push for further spending on nuclear weapons?
One significant factor in the American nuclear sweepstakes goes regularly unmentioned in this country: the corporations that make up the nuclear weapons industry. Yet the pressures they are capable of exerting in favor of ever more nuclear spending are radically underestimated in what passes for “debate” on the subject.
Privatizing Nuclear Weapons Development
Start with this simple fact: the production, maintenance, and modernization of nuclear weapons are sources of super profits for what is, in essence, a cartel. They, of course, encounter no competition for contracts from offshore competitors, given that it’s the US nuclear arsenal we’re talking about, and the government contracts offered are screened from critical auditing under the guise of national security. Furthermore, the business model employed is “cost-plus,” which means that no matter how high cost overruns may be compared to original bids, contractors receive a guaranteed profit percentage above their costs. High profits are effectively guaranteed, no matter how inefficient or over-budget the project may become. In other words, there is no possibility of contractors losing money on their work, no matter how inefficient they may be (a far cry from a corporate free-market model of production).
Those well-protected profits and the firms raking them in have become a major factor in the promotion of nuclear weapons development, undermining any efforts at nuclear disarmament of almost any sort. Part of this process should be familiar indeed, since it’s an extension of a classic Pentagon formula that Columbia University industrial economist Seymour Melman once described so strikingly in his books and articles, a formula that infamously produced $436 hammers and $6,322 coffee makers.
Given the process and the profits, the weapons contractors have a vested interest in ensuring that the American public has a heightened sense of danger and insecurity (even as they themselves have become a leading source of such danger and insecurity). Recently, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) produced a striking report, “Don’t Bank on the Bomb,” documenting the major corporate contractors and their investors who will reap those mega-profits from the coming nuclear weapons upgrades.
Given the penumbra of national security that envelops the country’s nuclear weapons programs, authentic audits of the contracts of these companies are not available to the public. However, at least the major corporations profiting from nuclear weapons contracts can now be identified. In the area of nuclear delivery systems—bombers, missiles, and submarines—these include a series of familiar corporate names: Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, GenCorp Aerojet, Huntington Ingalls, and Lockheed Martin. In other areas like nuclear design and production, the names at the top of the list will be less well known: Babcock & Wilcox, Bechtel, Honeywell International, and URS Corporation. When it comes to nuclear weapons testing and maintenance, contractors include Aecom, Flour, Jacobs Engineering, and SAIC; missile targeting and guidance firms include Alliant Techsystems and Rockwell Collins.
To give a small sampling of the contracts: In 2014, Babcock & Wilcox was awarded $76.8 million for work on upgrading the Ohio class submarines. In January 2013, General Dynamics Electric Boat Division was awarded a $4.6 billion contract to design and develop a next-generation strategic deterrent submarine. More of what is known of such corporate weapons contracts can be found in the ICAN Report, which also identified banks and other financial institutions investing in the nuclear weapons corporations.
Many Americans are unaware that much of the responsibility for nuclear weapons development, production, and maintenance lies not with the Pentagon but the Department of Energy (DOE), which spends more on nuclear weapons than it does on developing sustainable energy sources. Key to the DOE’s nuclear project are the federal laboratories where nuclear weapons are designed, built, and tested. They include Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories in Livermore, California. These, in turn, reflect a continuing trend in national security affairs, so-called GOCO sites (“government owned, contractor operated”). At the labs, this system represents a corporatization of the policies of nuclear deterrence and other nuclear weapons strategies. Through contracts with URS, Babcock & Wilcox, the University of California, and Bechtel, the nuclear weapons labs are to a significant extent privatized. The LANL contract alone is on the order of $14 billion. Similarly, the Savannah River Nuclear Facility, in Aiken, South Carolina, where nuclear warheads are manufactured, is jointly run by Flour, Honeywell International, and Huntington Ingalls Industries. Their DOE contract for operating it through 2016 totals about $8 billion dollars. In other words, in these years that have seen the rise of the warrior corporation and a significant privatization of the US military and the intelligence community, a similar process has been underway in the world of nuclear weaponry.
In addition to the prime nuclear weapons contractors, there are hundreds of subcontractors, some of which depend upon those subcontracts for the bulk of their business. Any one of them may have from 100 to several hundred employees working on its particular component or system and, with clout in local communities, they help push the nuclear modernization program via their congressional representatives.
One of the reasons nuclear weapons profitability is extremely high is that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) of the Department of Energy, responsible for the development and operations of the DOE’s nuclear weapons facilities, does not monitor subcontractors, which makes it difficult to monitor prime contractors as well. For example, when the Project on Government Oversight filed a Freedom of Information Act request for information on Babock & Wilcox, the subcontractor for security at the Y-12 nuclear complex at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the NNSA responded that it had no information on the subcontractor. Babcock & Wilcox was then in charge of building a uranium processing facility at Y-12. It, in turn, subcontracted design work to four other companies and then failed to consolidate or supervise them. This led to an unusable design, which was only scrapped after the subcontractors had received $600 million for work that was useless. This Oak Ridge case, in turn, triggered a Government Accountability Office report to Congress last May indicating that such problems were endemic to the DOE’s nuclear weapons facilities.
The Nuclear Lobbyists
Federal tax dollars expended on nuclear weapons maintenance and development are a significant component of the federal budget. Although difficult to pin down precisely, the sums run into the hundreds of billions of dollars. In 2005, the Government Accountability Office reported that even the Pentagon had no firm numbers when it came to how much the nuclear mission costs, nor is there a standalone nuclear weapons budget of any sort, so overall costs must be estimated. Analyzing the budgets of the Pentagon and the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, as well as information gleaned from Congressional testimony, the Center for Nonproliferation Studies suggests that, from 2010-2018, the United States will spend at least $179 billion to maintain the current nuclear triad of missiles, bombers, and submarines, with their associated nuclear weaponry, while beginning the process of developing their next-generation replacements. The Congressional Budget Office projects the cost of nuclear forces for 2015-2024 at $348 billion, or $35 billion annually, of which the Pentagon will spend $227 billion and the Department of Energy $121 billion.
In fact, the price for maintaining and developing the nuclear arsenal is actually far greater than either of those estimates. While those numbers include most of the direct costs of nuclear weapons and strategic launching systems like missiles and submarines, as well as the majority of the costs for the military personnel responsible for maintaining, operating, and executing the missions, they don’t include many other expenses, including the decommissioning process and nuclear-waste disposal issues involved in “retiring” weapons. Nor do they include the pensions and healthcare costs that will go with retiring their human operators.
In 2012, a report by Global Zero chaired by former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General James Cartwright concluded that “no sensible argument has been put forward for using nuclear weapons to solve any of the major 21st century problems we face [including] threats posed by rogue states, failed states, proliferation, regional conflicts, terrorism, cyber warfare, organized crime, drug trafficking, conflict-driven mass migration of refugees, epidemics, or climate change. In fact, nuclear weapons have on balance arguably become more a part of the problem than any solution.”
Not surprisingly, for the roster of corporations involved in the US nuclear programs, this matters little. They, in fact, maintain elaborate lobbying operations in support of their continuing nuclear weapons contracts. In a 2012 study for the Center for International Policy, “Bombs vs. Budgets: Inside the Nuclear Weapons Lobby,” William Hartung and Christine Anderson reported that, for the elections of that year, the top 14 contractors gave nearly $3 million directly to Congressional legislators. Not surprisingly, half that sum went to members of the four key committees or subcommittees that oversee spending for nuclear arms.
In 2015, the defense industry mobilized a small army of at least 718 lobbyists and doled out more than $67 million dollars pressuring Congress for increased weapons spending generally. Among the largest contributors were corporations with significant nuclear weapons contracts, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and General Dynamics. Such pro-nuclear lobbying is augmented by contributions and pressure from missile and aircraft companies that are primarily non-nuclear. Some of the systems they produce, however, are potentially dual-use (conventional and nuclear), which means that a robust nuclear weapons program increases their potential market.
The continuing pressure of Congressional Republicans for cuts in domestic social programs are a crucial mechanism that ensures federal tax dollars will be available for lucrative military contracts. In terms of quality of life (and death), this means that underestimating the influence of the nuclear weapons industry is singularly dangerous. For the $35 billion or more the US taxpayer will put into such weaponry annually to support the narrow interests of a modest number of companies, the payback is fear of an apocalyptic future. After all, unlike almost all other corporate lobbies, the nuclear weapons lobby (and so your tax dollars) put life on Earth at risk of rapid extinction, either following the direct destruction of a nuclear holocaust or a radical reduction in sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface that would come from the sort of nuclear winter that would follow almost any nuclear exchange. At the moment, the corporate-nuclear complex is hidden in our midst, its budgets and funds shielded from public scrutiny, its project hardly noticed. It’s a formula for disaster.
Citizens in NW still have some voice and power as regards environment and labor-------but that power is fast decreasing as Seattle becomes the same GREATER SEATTLE global technology hub as San Fran. We thank our Boeing labor unions for taking the stand----they knew Boeing was heading to third world wages and these professional unions walked away.
South Carolina is the opposite----it is a cheer leader for ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE ONE THIRD WORLD WAGE AND GLOBAL LABOR POOL. Boeing knows as well South Carolina could care less about environmental laws----so it will be free to create the massive toxic waste dumps tied to coming MOVING FORWARD. As a GATEWAY state SC has structures to move global labor pool into South Carolina for training and then to send immigrant labor across US just as Atlanta----Baltimore-----Providence. This move by Boeing was more than simply jet planes----and the NW citizens are fighters!
We hope our NW labor unions are building local CO-OPS and include local solar panel manufacturing---you know, the real green solar panels without all the toxic chemicals as components.
Say goodbye to Charleston and Myrtle Beach----between offshore oil rigs-----floating industrial solar platforms---INDUSTRIAL FISH FARMS-------nuclear bomb manufacturing-----global tech industry rare earth global factories-----NOT SO GENTILE FUTURE FOR A BEAUTIFUL PART OF OUR NATION.
The incalculable cost of Boeing’s South Carolina gamble
The Boeing Co. is turning 100 on July 15. Throughout the year, The Daily Herald is covering the people, airplanes and moments that define the Boeing century.
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — There is an alligator in a pond at the entrance to the Boeing Co.’s plant here. Just beyond the pond, construction workers are raising a new paint hangar that can handle two planes at a time.
Finishing the paint hangar will mean Boeing’s South Carolina workers can do everything needed to deliver a finished 787 Dreamliner on-site. It could be where Boeing introduces the next step forward in using robots to paint airplanes.
Just seven years ago, Boeing executives decided to do something the company had never done — build a jetliner factory outside Washington. They announced in October 2009 that the second 787 assembly line would be at a site adjacent to the Charleston airport, where suppliers had already been making sections of the airplane’s composite-material fuselage.
The decision hit metro Puget Sound like a gut punch.
It has been a boon for Charleston, which was thrust into the global aerospace market. But the implications for Boeing and Washington are murky. For one thing, increasing production rate and quality here have taken longer and cost more than Boeing expected.
The expansion of manufacturing to South Carolina was one of several critical decisions that seemed to signal a change in how Boeing’s corporate leaders in Chicago viewed the company and, especially, its relationship with the Seattle area, where Bill Boeing started making airplanes in 1916.
“The age of loyalty is dead,” a Daily Herald story declared a few days after Boeing announced the 787 line was going to South Carolina.
Turning point: 1997
Many veteran Boeing workers say things changed after the company’s 1997 merger with McDonnell Douglas, which had a reputation for having a more-cutthroat corporate culture.
“This is no longer your father’s company!” a top Boeing exec reportedly told workers after the merger. That’s according to University of Puget Sound professors Leon Grunberg and Sarah Moore, in their book “Emerging From Turbulence.”
The merger made Boeing the world’s biggest aerospace company, and one much more focused on quarterly financial performance. That was a drastic change. For more than 50 years, Boeing had fostered a family culture in its machine shops, R&D labs and even the corner offices.
Since the merger, the Boeing headquarters was moved from Boeing Field in Seattle to a high-rise in downtown Chicago. The company courted other states, including South Carolina, when considering where to locate 787 assembly. And relations with organized labor deteriorated. Machinists union members in Washington went on strike in 2005 and again in 2008. That latter strike was fresh in execs’ minds when considering where to put the second Dreamliner factory.
In the months following the South Carolina announcement, Boeing executives publicly said they selected the state in large part for its non-union proclivity.
When Vought Aircraft opened a North Charleston plant to make 787 fuselage sections in 2006, workers voted to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), which also represents about 31,000 Boeing workers in Washington and Portland. A couple months after Boeing bought Vought’s plant in July 2009, the workers voted the union out.
A new aerospace hub
Boeing execs saw other benefits, too, such as how the new site would diversify the company geographically and strengthen its clout in D.C. In doing business in South Carolina, Boeing would gain the support of South Carolina’s congressional delegation.
At the same time, local business boosters and public officials made the Charleston area very attractive for Boeing expansion. The state offered about $450 million in incentives. Training programs for aerospace workers were started after Vought and another Boeing supplier, Alenia Aeronautica, came to the area.
However, quality-control problems at those suppliers prompted Boeing to take over their operations.
Boeing’s decision to step in put South Carolina on a global stage in aerospace, said David Ginn, head of the Charleston Regional Development Alliance. The group was key in coordinating efforts to attract aerospace, automotive manufacturing and other high-value industries.
Since then, dozens of companies have come to the area to do business with Boeing. Many are still growing, some have struggled and a handful have failed. The industry as a whole, however, is growing and employs more than 15,000 people in the area. About 7,500 work for Boeing.
Other high-value manufacturers followed, such as Volvo and Daimler.
“It has been a stamp of approval for companies in other industries” thinking of opening shop in the area, he said of Boeing’s presence.
High cost of moving
Boeing’s early years in South Carolina were plenty painful. That pain was felt as far away as Everett, where workers put in overtime completing work not finished or re-doing assembly poorly done in North Charleston.
Boeing had anticipated there would be some additional costs associated with a new assembly line far from Washington. It expected that an all-new factory in Charleston, with a new workforce, would cost about $1.5 billion more over time than it would if a second 787 assembly line was located in Everett, according to a presentation by Jim Albaugh, then head of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, on Oct. 26, 2009.
So far, Boeing has spent $28.5 billion more than it has earned in revenue to deliver the first 370 Dreamliners. That staggering amount is the result of problems in the supply chain and on the assembly lines, among other things. It is not clear how much of that can be attributed to teething at the South Carolina site.
In 2013, the 17 Dreamliners built in South Carolina spent an average of nearly 93 days in final assembly, according to analysis of data by the blog All Things 787. Last year, that number was down to about 46 days. In Everett, 787s spent an average of 33 days in final assembly.
In any case, Boeing execs say the cost of making a 787 is under control, and the company is ready to recover some of that $28.5 billion.
It likely will be decades before it is clear whether Boeing’s decision to build airplanes somewhere other than Washington is an anomaly or a harbinger of things to come.
Let's move on to NUCLEAR policy as regards environment in US. We showed how the southwest ---NEVADA---NEW MEXICO----CA are already being turned to toxic dumping for technology battery and rare earth mineral disposal tied to GREEN SOLAR AND ELECTRIC BATTERY------dumps all over our pristine NATIONAL PARK LAND-----well on its way to CHINESE-STYLE environmental devastation. But the far-right global Wall Street pols ---yes, most of them run as Democrats----CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS -----Harry Reid of NV, Brown of CA, and what was a Clinton global Wall Street pol with RICHARDSON-----is now Republican with Martinez in NM. The American people from these areas thinking they want the jobs need to WAKE UP-----WHERE ARE CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN going to move as this same environmental devastation comes to EAST COAST.
These same southwest states were the location of nuclear testing and fallout and of course MINING. Mining for gold, silver, ore is far different than mining for RARE EARTH MINERALS because they are extremely TOXIC. The mayors and governors of these states and city hall/state assemblies are passing laws to allow the worst of environmental damage just as PA and OH did with fracking. Citizens in these states simply decide to move out----and we are left with devastated NATIONAL PARK LAND.
Below we see our national media yet again being FAKE NEWS. We go to FOREIGN POLICY journal knowing it is far-right global Wall Street but it does allow us to know which policies are next to be PROPAGANDIZED.
Sure enough Bush/Perry as governors of Texas drove that state into environmental devastation. This article would make people think Foreign Policy does not know what OBAMA AND THE START TREATY POLICY INSTALLED. One of the earliest policy stances Obama took was rebuilding our US nuclear arsenal with NEW NUCLEAR WEAPONS. Obama essentially jump started the REAGAN NUCLEAR ARMS RACE while national media was allowed to tell US citizens START TREATY was about nuclear disarmament. START TREATY states OLD NUCLEAR WEAPONS will be destroyed---ergo 'disarmament'----to retool with NEW NUCLEAR WEAPONS.
We can be sure with far-right wing global Wall Street CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA destroying old nuclear weapons will not entail ANY ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION and yes, of course NEW NUCLEAR WEAPONS need to be tested.
Not Even Rick Perry Is Stupid Enough To Resume Testing Nuclear Weapons
Yes, America’s nuclear arsenal is old. But there’s simply no good reason to test a bomb in the 21st century.
The new nuclear weapons when dropped in small payloads----by DRONES----will kill humans while leaving buildings and infrastructure intact. Foreign Policy knows this as their TITLE ---NO REASON FOR NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN 21ST CENTURY=====someone tells them what DEEP STATE SMART CITIES is about!
Are Nuke Tests Coming To Nevada Again? And Are They Needed?
By Photo courtesy of National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office/Wikimedia CommonsOperation Teapot, the Met Shot, a tower burst weapons effects test April 15, 1955 at the Nevada Test Site.
May 09, 2017
Joe SchoenmannNevada since 1951 has been the site of the detonation of nuclear weapons both above and underground.
But the last test was in 1992.
John C. Hopkins is a retired nuclear physicist who ran the nuclear weapons program at Los Alamos National Laboratory. And with a new president, he’s raising questions about the potential for new nuclear tests in Nevada.
Hopkins told KNPR's State of Nevada that nuclear tests might be needed simply to tell if the nuclear weapons currently on hand still work.
“I think that it could be very difficult indefinitely to maintain the stockpile without some level of nuclear testing,” he said.
Hopkins said the weapons might be fine over the next couple of years but they're not meant to last forever.
HOPKINS DOESN'T KNOW START TREATY CALLS FOR DISMANTLING OLD NUCLEAR STOCKPILES----HE'S TALKING ABOUT TESTING THEM----Hmmmm.
However, he warned that it's been so long since nuclear tests have been done in the United States, the current crop of nuclear physicists wouldn't have the knowledge to do them right away.
“I don’t think there are enough people around who have had hands on experience with nuclear testing to field a test today.”
In addition, he added, it would take a huge sum of money to restart the testing program, because the equipment is old.
“There is a lot of work to be done and a lot of catching up to do if we were to start again,” he said, adding that reviving testing would really be more like reinventing it because the technology is older and some of the equipment isn't even around anymore.
And he would worry about the possible effect on Las Vegas, which has grown to more than two million people. The Las Vegas Strip, he also said, is now home to several high-rises which could be more affected by the tremors from an underground nuclear blast.
“Before we resume testing, there would probably be some national emergency. Some overwhelming reason to resume testing because the political uproar would be terrific otherwise,” he said.
Before Clinton/Bush/Obama the US had a strong and broad media and journalism tied to HOLDING POWER ACCOUNTABLE. Clinton started the dismantling of FAIRNESS DOCTRINE and allowed MEDIA MONOPOLY and VOILA---WE THE PEOPLE have no sources of media telling us the truth----they can say anything they want because all local media is controlled by national media monopolies with propagandists replacing journalists.
Below we see what happened during the last nuclear weapons testing in these same southwestern states. Well, THIS TIME NUCLEAR WEAPONS TESTING WON'T BE TELEVISED----and has been occurring during Obama.
Does nuclear testing release CO? WORSE.
YOU MEAN ALL THOSE FAR-RIGHT WING GLOBAL WALL STREET CLINTON/OBAMA NEO-LIBERALS SHAKING THEIR FISTS AT TRUMP KNOW ALL THIS ENVIRONMENTAL DEVASTATION IS HAPPENING WHILE THEY PRETEND TO BE LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL? YES, FOR GOODNESS SAKE.
As Baltimore City Council/Maryland Assembly pols shake fists against Trump they too are passing laws breaking down all that was environmental protection because US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES allow no enforcement of labor and justice laws especially ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS.
Oh well this is all for the protection of WE THE PEOPLE against all those foreign sovereign citizen terrorists-----NO, WE ARE SURE these new nuclear weapons dropped by drones will be used inside US against the 99% of sovereign US citizens---that is how these weapons are designed.
Baltimore City council and Maryland Assembly has already passed the drone activity laws preparing for all of this to be used in all Foreign Economic Zones.
U.S. Nuclear Weapons Tests Come to You
TubeBy CHRISTINE HAUSERMARCH 17, 2017
The cameras shudder as blinding light flashes across the earth. Deformed white clouds balloon and mutate from the force of the nuclear test explosions.
These are some of the images captured in raw footage of bomb tests carried out by the United States between 1945 and 1962 in Nevada and the Marshall Islands. For the first time, the footage is available in an online archive after some of about 10,000 nuclear testing films were restored, scrutinized and declassified in a project by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.
The bulk of the videos, some only seconds long and others just over seven minutes, had been stored at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. But the experts in Livermore, about 40 miles southeast of San Francisco, have been working for years to retrieve and preserve the films, which over time had begun to turn brittle or curl, and then to create digital imprints.
So far this week more than 60 of the nuclear tests films were published by the Livermore lab’s YouTube account, and more will be added. They offer an evolving glimpse of the closest that most people (one hopes) will ever get to a nuclear blast.
“It’s just unbelievable how much energy is released,” said Dr. Gregory D. Spriggs, a weapons physicist in charge of the project at Livermore, in a statement accompanying the release of the first batch of films on Tuesday.
“We hope that we would never have to use a nuclear weapon ever again,” he said. “I think that if we capture the history of this and show what the force of these weapons are and how much devastation they can wreak, then maybe people will be reluctant to use them.”
The films intersect with the history of the nuclear program. After the United States dropped atomic bombs on two cities in Japan in 1945, killing hundreds of thousands of people, it embarked on years of experimentation with its growing nuclear arsenal, conducting 210 atmospheric nuclear tests on Pacific islands and in the Nevada desert from 1946 to 1962.
Many thousands of soldiers and sailors — some estimates say as many as 400,000 — observed the explosions on the sea or in trenches a few miles from the sites.
“You feel the heat blast from it,” said Frank Farmer, who witnessed 18 atomic detonations in 1958 while stationed on a ship in the Pacific, according to a Times report last year. “It’s so bright you actually see your bones in your hands.”
After a 1963 treaty banned atmospheric tests, the United States started experimenting underground.
For each of the 210 tests conducted before the ban, multiple cameras were used. That means an estimated 10,000 films were created, Livermore’s statement said. So far, the laboratory has located about 6,000 and scanned about 4,000 of them. The 64 films published on YouTube are among the 750 that have so far been declassified, it said.
There is still much work to be done.
The mission of the Livermore facility is to ensure that the safety, security and reliability of the United States nuclear deterrent is maintained. Its work falls under the National Nuclear Security Administration, which is part of the Department of Energy.
In an interview on Thursday, Dr. Spriggs said that the aim of the work on the films was to use modern imaging technology to verify data about shock waves produced by the explosions to a degree that was not possible in the 1950s.
Questions about shock waves, such as their intensity and speed, are a matter of life and death. It indicates where the damage from a nuclear bomb would be inflicted over a certain distance. As the force travels, it leaves a wake of destruction but gets weaker and weaker until it becomes a sound wave.
The laboratory is working with archivists, film restorers, software developers and other scientists on the project.
The United States no longer does nuclear testing, relying instead on experimental data from computer models, then comparing it with the data derived from the testing period of its history. The aim is to reduce the uncertainty between the two, and then use the latest data as a benchmark for scientists.
“So everything we are asked to calculate in terms of emergency preparedness, we are being asked ‘what is going to happen if it is dropped downtown’ or whatever,” Dr. Spriggs said. “If we can’t believe our computer codes, we can’t give the government an accurate estimate of this and how many people will get hurt.” Analyzing the films will give them more confidence in the answers, he said.
In one detonation film, showing Operation Dominic-Housatonic over more than seven minutes, the fireball swells to several miles across, suspended in the sky.
“When people could realize how much energy is released and how much damage they can do, maybe they would think twice,” Dr. Spriggs said. “It is a deterrent. We maintain the stockpile hoping that we never have to use it.”
So why is national media flooding reporting on old-school nuclear testing NOW AND SAYING IT WON'T HAPPEN in 21st century? The type of nuclear weapon tied to START TREATY----the replacement arsenal ----is a nuclear bomb that WE THE PEOPLE will not see-----no massive nuclear PLUME shown in these old testing images----they are showing these pictures to say----if you don't see these plumes---there must be no nuclear testing.
As this article states and as most public policy people know----new nuclear weapons MUST BE TESTED. In fact they have been testing in southwestern states during BUSH/OBAMA only no one is being told. Yes, the same public health issues tied to nuclear testing will harm citizens in this region and they will not even know it is happening.
THE START TREATY BY OBAMA STARTED THIS NEW ROUND OF BUILDING AND TESTING NUCLEAR WEAPONS.
This article lets us know there was no arsenal inspections during CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA----Oh, wait----you mean that NUCLEAR DISASTER IN JAPAN happened for the same reason----no REAL nuclear inspection by International Nuclear Agencies during this time either? THOSE DASTARDLY GLOBAL 1% CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA.
Along with all other Federal agencies looted by CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA by fraud and misappropriation ---so too all that Federal funding that was to keep these facilities safe were simply moved to expanding global corporations overseas. Look how Texas treated its workers----this is now being super-sized by the same global Wall Street pols and players.
As more and more and more of US citizens are finding only SECURITY---MILITARY-----SURVEILLANCE JOBS----you will see our 99% being told----DON'T TALK ABOUT THIS----IT IS TOP SECRET.
New nuclear weapons needed, many experts say, pointing to aged arsenal
Nov 29, 2014 LA Times
Two decades after the U.S. began to scale back its nuclear forces in the aftermath of the Cold War, a number of military strategists, scientists and congressional leaders are calling for a new generation of hydrogen bombs.
Warheads in the nation's stockpile are an average of 27 years old, which raises serious concerns about their reliability, they say. Provocative nuclear threats by Russian President Vladimir Putin have added to the pressure to not only design new weapons but conduct underground tests for the first time since 1992.
"We should get rid of our existing warheads and develop a new warhead that we would test to detonation," said John Hamre, deputy secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration and now president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "We have the worst of all worlds: older weapons and large inventories that we are retaining because we are worried about their reliability."
The incoming Republican-controlled Congress could be more open to exploring new weapons.
"It seems like common sense to me if you're trying to keep an aging machine alive that's well past its design life, then you're treading on thin ice," said Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman-elect of the House Armed Services Committee. "Not to mention, we're spending more and more to keep these things going."
Thornberry also offered support for renewed testing, saying, "You don't know how a car performs unless you turn the key over. Why would we accept anything less from a weapon that provides the foundation for which all our national security is based on?"
Some of the key technocrats and scientists of the Cold War say the nation has become overly confident about its nuclear deterrence. The nuclear enterprise, they say, "is rusting its way to disarmament."
"We should start from scratch," said Don Hicks, who directed the Pentagon's strategic weapons research during the Reagan administration. "We have so much enriched uranium and plutonium left from old weapons that we could use it properly for a new generation of weapons."
In the 25 years since the Cold War ended, the U.S. has significantly retreated from the brinkmanship of the arms race, reducing its stockpile from a peak of 31,000 nuclear weapons in 1967 to its current level of 4,804 weapons. Russia has cut its stockpile to about the same size.
After the Soviet Union fell in 1991, the U.S. agreed to an international moratorium on testing, though it never ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. Halting underground tests was seen as a crucial step toward full nuclear disarmament because it would put a high barrier against developing new weapons.
The U.S. allowed much of its weapons complex to deteriorate, particularly production facilities, as cooperation with Russia flourished in the 1990s.
Today, the signs of decay are pervasive at the Pantex facility in Texas, where nuclear weapons are disassembled and repaired. Rat infestation has become so bad that employees are afraid to bring their lunches to work.
"They literally have to keep their lunch bags on a shelf that's head high so it won't get eaten," Thornberry said. "They find them on their computers, in the hallways. It's a continual problem."
The buildings at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., are so old that a concrete ceiling recently collapsed into a production area.
The Obama administration has a $60-billion plan to modernize the Energy Department complex and update weapons, including a new type of warhead that cannibalizes components from older weapons.
The device would combine an atomic trigger from one weapon with a thermonuclear assembly from another. Called the interoperable warhead, it would reduce the number of weapons designs from seven to five, on the hopes that it would save money.
The device, which has been derided as an atomic "Frankenbomb," has prompted criticism from arms control factions. Advocates of a strong U.S. nuclear posture are not big supporters, either.
"Mixing and mashing parts into configurations that have never been tested before is not a good idea, by any means," said Kingston Reif, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Assn. "It's going to cost money that we don't have for a mission that plays an increasingly limited role in U.S. national security."
Some of the nation's top nuclear weapons scientists say a better option is to design new weapons better suited to current threats.
In many ways, the growing nuclear capability of China, coupled with the addition of North Korea, Pakistan and India to the status of nuclear powers, has made deterrence strategy more complicated than during the Cold War.
John S. Foster Jr., former director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and chief of Pentagon research during the Cold War, said the labs should design, develop and build prototype weapons that may be needed by the military in the future, including a very low-yield nuclear weapon that could be used with precision delivery systems, an electromagnetic pulse weapon that could destroy an enemy's communications systems and a penetrating weapon to destroy deeply buried targets.
"After more than two decades, the nuclear deterrent could be in worse shape than we want to believe," Foster said. "We need to demonstrate the proficiency of our weapons labs and our strategic forces."
Restarting design and production in the U.S., however, would requires billions of dollars to build new facilities, including a metallurgy plant in New Mexico for plutonium triggers and a uranium forge in Tennessee for thermonuclear assemblies.
In addition, since the mid-1990s, the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Energy Department branch that oversees the atomic arsenal, has lost some of the expertise to build weapons. Most nuclear lab scientists are older than 50, and younger scientists have no experience building a weapon.
Moving ahead with any agenda for producing new bombs will require surmounting large political, financial and technological hurdles, all of which have killed Energy Department attempts in the last two decades to design new weapons.
Norton A. Schwartz, a retired four-star general who served as Air Force chief of staff, said he sensed little support for a new round of nuclear competition. "I don't see any appetite for breaking these taboos," he said.
The political and environmental dynamics of testing — detonations 100 miles from Las Vegas so powerful that casinos would shake — are almost impossible to comprehend in today's climate.
Siegfried Hecker, a former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and now a professor at Stanford University, said testing could cause another problem. A resumption of U.S. testing would probably prompt other nuclear powers to resume as well, allowing them to catch up with the U.S.' huge experimental lead.
The U.S. has by far the greatest archive of test data, having conducted 1,032 nuclear tests. Russia conducted 715 and China only 45.
Hecker said the U.S. has so much experience, data and scientific capability that it could build a new generation of weapons without testing.
Advocates of a strong nuclear posture say that's an option worth pursuing because the nation's aging weapons cannot go on indefinitely.
Absent an international deal to eliminate every nation's nuclear stockpile, the U.S. will eventually need new weapons to maintain its deterrent effect, even if it renews some of the fear that gripped the world in the Cold War.
"The interesting thing about a nuclear deterrent is that enough of it has to be visible to scare the living daylights out of the enemy," said Joe Braddock, a long-time Pentagon science advisor and nuclear weapons effects expert. "But if you are not careful, you scare the living daylights out of yourself."
We know now that this Japanese nuclear disaster was as bad as it was---because our International Nuclear Agencies under CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA were not doing their jobs----it is the US and Europe who staff these international agencies and it is the national leadership making sure these inspections occur OR DON'T. We see in Japan the same conditions we see in US and TEXAS UNDER BUSH------the tidal wave would have created great damage to Japan's nuclear plants but it was failure to assure secure disaster provisions----the job of the International Nuclear agencies ---that made all of this devastating and washing nuclear waste throughout the Pacific.
WE THE PEOPLE THE US 99% ARE SILENT AS THESE CONDITIONS IN OUR US CITIES AND COUNTIES ARE GROWING AND GROWING AND GROWING.
The buildup of new nuclear weapons and dismantling of old---come with super-sized nuclear waste that will not be disposed.
TEPCO’s Fukushima inspections inadequate – Japan nuclear regulator
Published time: 23 Aug, 2013 12:00 Edited time: 23 Aug, 2013
Water tanks are seen at Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture (Reuters/Noboru Hashimoto) / Reuters
Japan’s nuclear regulator has concluded that the Fukushima nuclear plant’s operator was inadequate in its inspection of radioactive water tanks after news of yet another leak. TEPCO earlier admitted it will now require international help.
On Friday, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) Commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa visited the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to inspect the ongoing radioactive cleanup efforts. Fuketa’s comments follow those of the NRA chairman Shunichi Tanaka, who earlier this week worried that the makeshift giant radioactive containers were prone to failure.
"Fundamentally, for a facility holding that kind of radioactive water, they did not take action that foresaw the risks of possible leaks," Fuketa said at a press briefing in Hirono. "On top of that – and this is an impression I had before my visit – I can't help but say that the inspections were careless."
The plant operator said on Thursday that a new radiation spill has been detected near the storage tanks, which sparked fears of newer leaks before the old ones had been dealt with.
Furthermore, the company has been accused of failing to properly document inspections, leading to misspent resources and problems cropping up that should have been noticed before, according to Fuketa.
Japan has decided to raise the gravity of the latest Fukushima leak to Level Three, which is considered a “serious radiation incident” on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) for radiological releases. The most dangerous, Level Seven, has only been applied twice – for the Chernobyl catastrophe in 1986 and for the meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima plant.
TEPCO has also now admitted it will be seeking international expertise to help out with the leaks.
"Many other countries outside of Japan have experienced decommissioning reactors, so we hope we can consult them more and utilize their experience,” TEPCO’s vice-president, Zengo Aizawa, said at a news conference on Wednesday night.
"In that sense we need support - not only from the Japanese government, but from the international community - to do this job."
The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that it was ready to help out, if needed, and that it viewed the situation “seriously,” just as China was saying it was “shocked” to hear that radioactive water leaks are still continuing. The neighbor has urged Japan to provide it with information “in a timely, thorough and accurate way.”
Almost two-and-a-half years since a lethal combination of a tsunami and an earthquake crippled the power plant and caused a multitude of subsequent problems, TEPCO is faced with its most serious problem yet. This is after the recent discovery that radioactive water has been leaking from the plant’s storage tanks into the Pacific at an alarming rate of 300 tons a day.
Numerous contingency measures have been thought of for the problems that keep cropping up continuously in different parts of Fukushima – including leaking radioactive water, as well as a danger that Reactor 4 would collapse on itself. The structure holds upwards of 1,300 nuclear fuel rods containing 14,000 times the amount of radiation that the Hiroshima bomb released.
A never-before-attempted operation is in the works. It will involve the manual removal of nuclear fuel rods from Reactor 4 by way of a manually-operated crane – not by computer. Any mistakes could lead to contamination on an unprecedented scale. All this is happening at a time when the soil beneath Reactor 4 is slowly sinking.
The tanks, which are used to keep the coolant that prevents the damaged reactors from overheating dangerously, are considered to be unsuitable because they were made for other industrial purposes. They were adapted following the emergency, but they are nearly full.
TEPCO estimates that it has already reached 85 percent capacity, although plans to create a more permanent facility have so far not materialized. The latest leak was the fifth time that toxic water escaped from a basin.
The operator has been slow in measuring the levels of radioactive elements that have flowed out of the station, as well as publishing its data. TEPCO finally revealed this month that highly unsafe tritium and cesium levels had been detected in the seawater near the plant. A concentration of these elements could damage the marine environment and build up in marine life, possibly endangering humans further up the food chain.
The catastrophe of March 11, 2011, caused the meltdown of nuclear fuel rods at three of the plant’s reactors, leading to a contamination of air and sea, as well as crippling the region’s agriculture and fishing activities, gravely damaging the economy for years to come. On top of this, costs required for the cleanup, as well as to sustain the nation’s needs and compensation payouts, are projected to be in the billions – a fact that has recently caused the Japanese government to step in and start contributing money to TEPCO’s efforts.
The Fukushima nuclear meltdown has been called the worst radioactive event since the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986. And with protracted cleanup efforts expected to last decades, by multiple estimates, any misstep could lead to a cascading chain of dangerous radioactive events, fallout researcher Christina Consolo told RT. She made special reference to the upcoming operation for the manual removal of fuel rods from Reactor 4.
The START TREATY in 2010 was written to do just this----US and Russia agreed to new nuclear weapons arsenals and the testing that comes with it. Here is global Wall Street NEWSWEEK, knowing the US is doing the same thing----making it seem Russia is driving this arms race and because Russia is testing so the US has to test.
The news surrounding these new nuclear weapons and Russia is doing the same is not these great big nuclear payloads----it is what will be the CLUSTER BOMBS of nuclear weapons ---the small drone-delivered weapons dropped in small payloads on communities. Of course we now have NEW TERRORISM threats all stemming from START TREATY.
Russia's New 'Satan' Nuclear Weapons System Could Wipe Out Texas or France, But Testing is Behind Schedule
By Cristina Silva On 3/23/17 at 4:34 PM
Russia has for months been testing a giant nuclear weapons delivery system that can carry 10 heavyweight warheads—enough power to wipe out Texas or France. But the RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile known in Russia as "Satan 2" has been delayed yet again, suggesting Moscow is having a harder time than expected updating its nuclear arsenal.
Russia began testing the Sarmat last year and had been expected to enter it into service in 2018. It was slated to be Russia's first new intercontinental ballistic missile in decades and much bigger than its U.S. counterpart, the Minuteman III, which carries three warheads.
The Russian weapon was designed to push through U.S. missile defenses. It is expected to replace the RS-36M, which was known as "Satan" by NATO in the 1970s, NBC News reported.
But it's unclear now when the intercontinental nuclear missile will join Russia's fleet. New testing might not happen until later this year, the Moscow Times reported Thursday. The cause of the setback has not been reported.
Russia's Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau declassified in October the first image of the Sarmat. It was accompanied by a short text: "In accordance with the Decree of the Russian Government 'On the State Defense Order for 2010 and the planning period 2012-2013', the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau was instructed to start design and development work on the Sarmat. In June 2011, the Russian Ministry of Defense signed a state contract for the Sarmat's development. The prospective strategic missile system is being developed in order to create an assured and effective nuclear deterrent for Russia's strategic forces."
Russia has the world's most nuclear weapons with 7,300. The U.S. is in second place with 6,970 nuclear weapons. Only seven other nations in the world have nuclear weapons, and combined they have fewer weapons than either the U.S. or Russia. They are France, China, United Kingdom, Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea, according to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
Here we have exactly that nuclear testing and indeed it is tied to what Russia is doing as well----not those big bombs----but the new nuclear bombs designed to kill humans but leave a community's infrastructure in place. While these tests are being done with planes----the goal is to weaponize DRONES.
When our local city councils and state assemblies pass laws allowing drones into our airways----media promotes this AS A BUSINESS ECONOMY----when the goals are to open US airways to militarized drone actions. All Foreign Economic Zones have this so too will US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones----and what happens to sovereign citizens who don't like far-right wing, authoritarian, militaristic, corporate enslavement? They become those
'terrorists'. WE THE PEOPLE the 99% are well on our way to being those third world nation citizens having a military used against the people because we keep allowing CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA global Wall Street pols and players stay in office.
US successfully tests new nuclear gravity bomb
Published time: 14 Apr, 2017 18:08 Edited time: 15 Apr, 2017 18:39
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USAF F-16 testing a B61-12 gravity bomb © National Nuclear Security Administration @FrankKlotzNNSA
As the world’s attention was on the first combat use of the conventional “Mother Of All Bombs,” the US National Nuclear Security Administration announced the successful field test of the modernized gravity nuclear bomb in Nevada.The NNSA and the US Air Force completed the first qualification flight test of the B61-12 gravity nuclear bomb on March 14 at the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada, the agency announced on Thursday.
The test was intended to evaluate the weapon’s “non-nuclear functions” and the capability of the F-16 fighter to successfully deploy the bomb. An F-16 fighter from Nellis Air Force Base dropped the “non-nuclear test assembly,” the NNSA said in a statement.
“The successful test provides critical qualification data to validate that the baseline design meets military requirements,” said Brigadier General Michael Lutton, NNSA’s principal assistant deputy administrator for military application. The NNSA is part of the Department of Energy, which is charged with managing US nuclear weapons.
The B61-12 is a modernized version of the B61 gravity bomb, the mainstay of the Air Force’s nuclear arsenal and one of the legs of the so-called nuclear triad, along with the intercontinental ballistic missiles deployed from either ground-based silos or oceangoing submarines.
President Donald Trump has endorsed an ambitious – and expensive – plan to modernize the US nuclear triad, begun under his predecessor. The B61-12 is intended to consolidate and replace all the B61 variants currently in service.
Three successful development flight tests of the B61-12 were conducted in 2015. The March test was the first in a series scheduled to span the next three years, with the final design review due in September 2018 and the first production unit scheduled for completion by March 2020.
"In order to placate his critics, in the media and in politics, Trump has given a blank check to his generals. So they are having a grand time right now, and they are testing all the weapons they've been wanting to test, but not been able to," said Brian Becker, director of the anti-war ANSWER coalition, to RT.
On Thursday, the US attracted the world's attention by dropping a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB), also known as "Mother Of All Bombs," on Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) positions in eastern Afghanistan's Nangarhar province. It was the first combat use of the weapon, the largest conventional bomb in the US arsenal.
We are NOT NUCLEAR WEAPONS experts but we do know public policy in this regard these few decades is to produce a nuclear bomb that kills humans but leaves buildings and infrastructure in place. This requires smaller payloads----it requires a simple release---not a propelled release as we just read in last article. It also requires small aircraft able to navigate closer to targets so we know these bombs will not come via jet fighters----they will be the same weaponized drones being used by Bush/Obama overseas.
These kinds of bombs have the same toxic radioactivity able to blow to cities and counties in the region of testing just as the old-school atomic bombs. What we would see on ground are DETECTORS collecting data as to how a bomb fell----how the radiation was dispersed-----how quickly the radiation decayed---and the damage done to surrounding facilities. No one will see any signs of these tests where the old school atomic bomb was hard to hide.
THE AMOUNT OF RADIOACTIVE NUCLEAR WEAPON MANUFACTURING AND TESTING IN OUR SOUTHWEST IS SOARING.
You can bet our citizens in these same southwestern states have no idea of the amount of nuclear testing having already been done during Bush/Obama---to continue under Trump.
The gravity bomb is just the mechanism for dropping a small neutron bomb meant to kill humans but not harm infrastructure.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Energy distribution of weapon Energy type Standard % Enhanced %
Blast 50 40 to minimum 30
Thermal energy 35 25 to minimum 20
Prompt radiation 5 45 to minimum 30
Residual radiation 10 5
A neutron bomb, officially termed as a type of Enhanced Radiation Weapon (ERW), is a low yield thermonuclear weapon designed to maximize lethal neutron radiation in the immediate vicinity of the blast while minimizing the physical power of the blast itself. The neutron release generated by a nuclear fusion reaction is intentionally allowed to escape the weapon, rather than being absorbed by its other components. The neutron burst, which is used as the primary destructive action of the warhead, is able to penetrate enemy armor more effectively than a conventional warhead thus making it more lethal as a tactical weapon.
In a standard thermonuclear design, a small fission bomb is placed close to a larger mass of thermonuclear fuel. The two components are then placed within a thick radiation case, usually made from uranium, lead or steel. The case traps the energy from the fission bomb for a brief period, allowing it to heat and compress the main thermonuclear fuel. The case is normally made of depleted uranium or natural uranium metal, because the thermonuclear reactions give off massive numbers of high-energy neutrons that can cause fission reactions in the casing material. These can add considerable energy to the reaction; in a typical design as much as 50% of the total energy comes from fission events in the casing. For this reason, these weapons are technically known as fission-fusion-fission designs.
In a neutron bomb, the casing material is selected to be either transparent to neutrons, or actively enhance their production. The burst of neutrons created in the thermonuclear reaction is then free to escape the bomb, outpacing the physical explosion. By designing the thermonuclear stage of the weapon carefully, the neutron burst can be maximized while minimizing the blast itself. This makes the lethal radius of the neutron burst greater than that of the explosion itself. Since the neutrons disappear from the environment rapidly, such a burst over an enemy column would kill the crews and leave the area able to be quickly reoccupied.
Compared to a pure fission bomb with an identical explosive yield, a neutron bomb would emit about ten times the amount of neutron radiation. In a fission bomb, at sea level, the total radiation pulse energy which is composed of both gamma rays and neutrons is approximately 5% of the entire energy released; in the neutron bomb it would be closer to 40%. Furthermore, the neutrons emitted by a neutron bomb have a much higher average energy level (close to 14 MeV) than those released during a fission reaction (1–2 MeV).
Technically speaking, all low yield nuclear weapons are radiation weapons, including non-enhanced variants. Up to about 10 kilotons in yield, all nuclear weapons have prompt neutron radiation as their furthest-reaching lethal component, after which point the lethal blast and thermal effects radius begins to out-range the lethal ionizing radiation radius. Enhanced radiation weapons also fall into this same yield range and simply enhance the intensity and range of the neutron dose for a given yield.
Cindy Walsh is a lifelong political activist and academic living in Baltimore, Maryland.