Thursday, October 7, 2010
And we thought the Gulf spill was bad. Today's menu special Hungarian Sludge
For those of you who have long forgotten your high school chemistry.
Ph levels in the Marcal river in Hungary are at 9 to 10 on the scale. It's killed all the fish and response workers were unable to stop it from reaching the Danube. So what now you might ask? Well there's good news and bad news. Hungary is in it's rainy season. That will help to dilute the chemicals but it will also help them to flow even faster.
It was reported that this spill is larger than the Deep Water Horizon spill but I find that hard to believe. It was after all just one reservoir. Maybe in terms of property damage this would be worse.
To try and fix this problem is going to be an engineering nightmare. What they would need to do is dump large amounts of vinegar into the river upstream from the Danube while workers try to build some type of containment. Not knowing the terrain in that area it's hard to say if that could even be done. Unlike Deep Water the ph could be neutralized but then there the long term effects of the heavy metals. Is this yet another "perfect storm"? As I see it it's just one more example of profits over safety. I understand that this pool of toxic sludge has been there since Soviet days and was inspected just two weeks ago. At this point I see no alternative other than to declare the area what we would call a Superfund site, relocate the population and build a containment system, but I know they won't. They'll white wash the buildings clean up the streets and people will continue to live there like some lab rats in a sick experiment. We saw this in Libby, Montana. We saw it at ground zero and we're seeing it in the Gulf. Now it's Europe's turn. When will we learn?
Short post I have a bunch of things to do today and tomorrow.