Politicians Protect Politically-Powerful Polluters

17 November 2011

Not often the chance for an alliterative title like this comes along but, thanks to politicians who bend over backwards, or perhaps the other way, for Big Business, the opportunity has been created!

A report from Florida today indicates a likelihood that the practice of exemption from meeting anti-pollution regulations will become the norm in this state of the great US of A.  Nothing new, I fear, as over here in South Africa we have lived with the practice of exemptions for decades.  Now we are starting to reap the harvest of this nonsensical idiocy.

The Florida article asks:

How would you like your government to tell all the major polluters in your community (sewage plants, paper mills, phosphate facilities, chemical plants, etc.) that they can dump their pollution in your local waters forever and never have to account for what comes out of their pipes? It sounds kind of crazy, huh?

What if the free-for-all was limited to just the most troubling chemicals for Florida waters? Would that help? What if the state and federal governments agreed that this is a good idea and that the cost of dealing with the most polluting chemicals would be spread out for everyone to pay, so our biggest polluters would not be troubled with the problem? Well, the owners of those big discharges into our streams and bays would certainly like that, but what about the rest of us? Are we ready for socialized pollution? Is more corporate welfare one of your top priorities in these tough economic times?

The article continues:

The state has an opportunity to fix this very bad idea and take steps to protect us and our waters from even more pollution in the form of nitrogen and phosphorus (nutrients), which are already choking our waters with toxic algae. You don’t need to go far in Florida to find a spring, lake, river and bay that is suffering from too much nitrogen and/or phosphorus. The result is fish kills, respiratory problems and slimy, stinky waters.

Even so, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is determined to protect politically powerful polluters in Florida and make the rest of us pay for their pollution.

The state and federal rules are clear that at no time will discharge pipes be required to meet the new pollution limits.

In simple language, our rivers and estuaries will become automatic “mixing zones” (places in the water where pollution laws aren’t applied) for every polluting industry and sewage plant. If our waters ever get cleaned up, it will be up to local governments and individual taxpayers to make it happen.

This is not unique to Florida.  Big Business is all about short-term profits on the back of long-term disservice to mankind.  Our world is fast becoming a very unpleasant place to be in.

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