BP dumping mercury in Lake Michigan

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/environment/2007-07-30-mercury_N.htm

Saw this story in the news.

This seems pretty fucked up. Why would they have to dump mercury in the water, would it really be that difficult to dispose of it some other way?

I’m guessing that the murcury was not in one big container but rather diluted in some process water or something like that. It can be hard to recover/monitor 1ppm of any substance when you’re dealing with billions of gallons of water and unsteady dilution levels.

This has been in the news here for the past couple of weeks. Essentially, Indiana gave BP the OK to significantly increase the waste they dumped in the lake. Initially, what was reported most widely was ammonia. And a whole bunch of folks had issues with that.
As time went on, it was revealed that BP was also dumping mercury. WTF?
Illinois is opposed, a majority in Congress is opposed, but today I read that the EPA sees no problem with this.
Another helping of lake salmon anyone?
What’s a little cancer, as long as BP is able to make a profit and we can keep gas prices low?

That’s my drinking water they’re talking about, too. :frowning:

Perhaps the board of directors of BP should be required to drink a few litres of water taken from Lake Michigan near their plant each board meeting.

WTF? Does EPA no longer stand for “Environmental Protection Agency?” :mad:

Perhaps the P is for “Profiteering” in the revised government. :dubious:

Clearly, the sky is not falling according to the DEM, and usually those guys are all over something of this nature.

With that said…

…it would seem that some plan needs to be put into place to minimize the long-term effects, obviously. (For all I know, they may already be pretty minimal. OTOH, cue the sinister music maybe “Big Oil” is paying off someone in the DEM to say things are just fine. ymmv)

Uh, there is that reversing the flow of the Chicago River thing, a whole lot closer to where this is happening…

I vaguely remember something about it possibly flowing in both directions on a Modern Marvels type show. Perhaps that is why they left it out of the article?

Reversing the river. Plenty more info easily googleable. The statements in the site I link about the cholera epidemic are urban legend, tho.

To the best of my knowledge (and I kinda pay attention to this kind of thing) the ONLY times the river would run into the lake these days would be following a torrential downpour, if the storm sewers got flooded. But that’s why they did the Deep Tunnel project.

Am in the process of reading a history of the Chicago River. According to this book, one of - if not the reason Chicago exists, is because of the existence of a subcontinental divide on what is now the SW side of the city. From all points east of this divide, all water naturally drains down to the east, flowing into the Atlantic. From all points west, it flows into the Mississippi and into the Gulf of Mexico. Apparently in the Chicago area is where this divide is at its lowest - only a couple of feet - making for a relatively easy portage, and later, canals.

Before the canals, there was a slough on or near the divide called Mud Lake. From what I read, at times the direction of flow out of Mud Lake could depend on which direction the wind was blowing.

I now return you to your previously scheduled discussion.