Just weeks ago, many of the trees on Lawton Pearson’s farm 30 miles southwest of Macon were loaded with quarter-sized fruit and pink flowers, early signs that a plentiful crop of Georgia’s famed peaches was on the way.
Now, most of those same tiny peaches and blooms are rotting off the branches and falling to the ground, Pearson said.
The culprit? An exceptionally warm winter followed by several days of freezing temperatures this month, which Georgia peach farmers fear inflicted a brutal, one-two punch that may have wiped out much of their crop.
Farmers say it could be weeks before the full extent of the damage comes into view. But early estimates indicate 60% or more of the state’s peach crop may have been destroyed by the recent weather whiplash, according to Dario Chavez, an associate professor and peach specialist based at the University of Georgia’s Griffin campus.
“We’ll know in probably two weeks exactly what we have,” said Pearson, a fifth-generation peach farmer and a partner at Pearson Farm near Fort Valley. “But right now, the suspicion is that we were hurt from both sides — warm weather and four cold days in March.”
Big crop losses in Georgia and neighboring South Carolina could mean more peaches from California will be in the produce aisles than local shoppers are accustomed to, and it could mean peaches are a bit pricier this summer.
Scientists say human-caused climate change is making Georgia’s winters warmer and contributing to more extreme temperature swings.
This year’s winter whipsaw triggered the latest in a string of painful crop losses that have hit Georgia’s most profitable fruit crops in recent years. Around 80% of Georgia’s peaches fell victim to a freeze in 2017. The state’s blueberries have also been thinned by several late winter and early spring cold snaps, including one in March 2022 that caused heavy damage on many farms.
Some Georgia blueberry farmers say they also fear damage to this year’s crop.
Lack of chill bedevils plants
The root of the problems now facing Georgia’s peach farmers can be traced to this past winter, which federal data shows was one of the hottest the state has experienced in the last 129 years of record-keeping.
Crops like peaches and blueberries need a healthy dose of cold weather to enter dormancy, a critical step that prepares the plants to bear fruit when spring arrives. The plants must hit their “chill hour” requirements — hours spent in temperatures between 32 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit — to be able to sprout healthy buds when warmer weather arrives.
Even considering the brutal blast of Arctic cold that drifted south around Christmas, the months from December 2022 to February 2023 were the sixth-hottest such period in Georgia since 1896.
Pearson’s peaches only got about 730 chill hours this winter, well below the 1,100 to 1,200 hours he said his farm has averaged for much of the past 50 years.
This past February was also the second-hottest such period on record for the state, with temperatures for the month averaging 58.2 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s nearly 10 degrees above what was considered “normal” in February last century.
That warmth pushed the peaches to advance in their development, putting them at greater risk when temperatures around Macon dipped below freezing on March 15 and 16. Four days later, overnight lows again fell into the 20s.
Lee Dickey, a co-owner of Dickey Farms in Musella, said his earlier peaches, which generally require less time in the cold and had already bloomed, were hit hardest. He estimates at least 50% of his crop was lost to the freezes, but is hopeful that later developing varieties will still produce a decent yield.
South Carolina, which now ranks ahead of Georgia as the country’s second-largest peach producing state, also sustained damage to its crop. However, it could be weeks before the scale of the losses there comes into view, said Gregory Reighard, professor of horticulture at Clemson University.
Georgia’s blueberries, which are now the state’s most valuable fruit crop, didn’t escape the freezes entirely unscathed either. Don Starrett of BluStarr Farms near Augusta said he thinks at least half of his crop fell victim to the cold.
“I was thinking, ‘Man, if we can just escape those freezing temperatures, I think we’ll have a record crop’,” Starrett said. “But temperatures in the mid-20s are just too cold for those berries to survive.”
Fortunately, larger farms farther south in the heart of Georgia blueberry country, where temperatures didn’t get quite as cold, appear to have fared better, UGA experts say.
‘Everything is more vulnerable’
Human activity is warming the planet and Georgia is no exception. Average temperatures in the state have climbed by roughly 1.44 degrees since the start of the 20th century.
The warming trend is even more pronounced in the winter months, said Pam Knox, an agricultural climatologist at UGA. As the climate continues to change, growers across the state are likely to continue to face challenges, she said.
“It puts us in a position to have the growing season start earlier,” Knox said. “But then it means everything is more vulnerable to a frost that isn’t necessarily later than the long-term average, but it is later in the growing stages of the crop.”
Peach growers and UGA experts say the industry is already trying to adapt by cultivating new varieties, including those that require less time in the cold and others that need more heat to force bloom.
As for this season, both Pearson and Dickey expect they will still have a crop. It’ll just be later than normal and consumers may have to hunt for their fix of Georgia peaches.
“I think folks are just going to have to be patient this year and be on the lookout for local vendors and farmers markets,” Dickey said. “And when they do come, be sure to snatch them up.”
A note of disclosure
This coverage is supported by a partnership with 1Earth Fund, the Kendeda Fund and Journalism Funding Partners. You can learn more and support our climate reporting by donating at https://www.ajc.com/donate/climate/
Insurers are being forced to write off many electric vehicles with only minor damage to battery packs, sending the batteries to scrap yards and hindering the climate benefits of going electric, Reuters reported.
Battery packs typically represent roughly half the cost of an electric vehicle, sometimes costing tens of thousands of dollars, often making it more economical for insurers to consider a car as totaled than replace a battery pack, according to Reuters. While many carmakers, including Ford and GM, told Reuters that their battery packs were repairable, many are unwilling to share key data with third-party insurers to help assess damage.
“The number of cases is going to increase, so the handling of batteries is a crucial point,” Christoph Lauterwasser, managing director of the research institute Allianz Center for Technology, told Reuters. “If you throw away the vehicle at an early stage, you’ve lost pretty much all advantage in terms of [carbon dioxide] emissions.”
Allianz, an insurance firm and parent company of Allianz Center for Technology, has seen cases where battery packs were scratched, and likely had undamaged internals, but a lack of access to diagnostic data forced the company to write off the vehicles, Reuters reported. Producing electric vehicle batteries emits much more in terms of carbon dioxide emissions than producing a gas-powered car, in some cases requiring an electric car to rack up more than 10,000 miles before it makes up for the additional emissions in production, according to a Reuters estimate.
It cost roughly $206 per month on average to insure an electric vehicle in 2023, 27% more than gas-powered cars, Reuters reported, citing online brokerage Policygenius. Without access to diagnostic data, it is likely that insurance costs will climb as more electric vehicles are sold and low-mileage cars are scrapped.
Electric vehicle and battery production are both expected to climb dramatically by 2026, off the back of more than $120 billion in investments, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. Annual production of electric vehicles is projected to climb from roughly 1 million per year in 2023 to 4.3 million in 2026, while annual battery production is expected to climb from 2.4 million per year in 2023 to 11.5 million per year in 2026.
President Joe Biden has made electric vehicle tax credits, from his signature Inflation Reduction Act, a cornerstone of his domestic policy. While Biden’s plan was initially forecast to cost roughly $30 billion in tax breaks over the next 10 years, the surge of domestic investments has caused private analysts to reevaluate the cost of the tax breaks to more than $136 billion.
John Hugh DeMastri is a contributor to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Palm Warblers are migratory, insectivorous songbirds that pass through Ohio during migration. Photo by Ryan Sanderson
The issues I work on as American Bird Conservancy’s (ABC’s) resident pesticides guy rarely receive national attention. Imagine my shock when “chemical regulation,” “contaminant mitigation,” and, as an Ohio resident, “East Palestine on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border” became household phrases when the Norfolk Southern train derailed last month.
News of the derailment was soon followed by stories of the chemical spill’s impacts on wildlife. Ohio’s Division of Natural Resources estimated that 40,000 individual animals died in the weeks immediately following the crash, mostly minnows and other small fish. Frogs, snails, insects, and other small animals were found dead as well. So far, there is no direct evidence of bird deaths connected to the chemical spill, but I see plenty of warning signs that this is something that could impact them.
With large-scale pollution events, birds often suffer the most as indirect victims of long-term effects. Before the EPA banned DDT in 1972, this insecticide accumulated up the food chain and killed birds by thinning eggshells, making successful chick hatching nearly impossible for species like the Peregrine Falcon and Bald Eagle. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 coated the feathers of many nearby seabirds and hindered their ability to fly, but the loss of habitable coastline probably led to a higher loss of birdlife in the long run.
In the case of this chemical spill, mass die-offs of a single species, like minnows, may hamper local population recovery for years to come, with impacts that echo up the food chain. Water contamination may decrease habitability for insects and other invertebrates, which are vital food sources for birds trying to raise chicks. Fewer plants and less fertile streams mean fewer places to nest, rest, and refuel during migration. Plant die-offs could also pave the way for opportunistic nonnative species like Amur Honeysuckle, Purple Loosestrife, and Giant Hogweed — plants that crowd out the native species most valuable to birds and other wildlife.
These subtle changes are often the most harmful. In the Netherlands, use of a water-contaminating neonicotinoid insecticide was correlated with a population decrease in dozens of species of local birds. It was not that the birds were being poisoned themselves; rather, the insecticides reduced the supply of food to the point that it was insufficient to sustain population growth.
Regarding the question of exactly how birds will be impacted by the derailment, the most honest answer I can give is “we do not yet know.” We can take educated guesses based on the known impacts of other chemicals or past disasters, but there are no obvious precedents for the kind of spill that happened in Ohio in February. The upcoming migration season, with its influx of billions of individual birds into U.S. skies — millions of which will either pass through or even stop to breed for the summer in Ohio — will probably be the first real test of this environmental tragedy’s more immediate impacts on birdlife.
So, what can we do about it? While we cannot prepare for every possible accident or disaster, we can do a better job of addressing the threats we do know about, the events we can plan for. The more we cut back on existing environmental stressors, the better equipped ecosystems will be to bounce back from this kind of shock to the system. For example, we need fewer chemicals used in farming so that there are fewer contaminants already in the environment when there is a spill. We need fewer rodenticides in our communities so there is one less chemical threat posed to our pets, children, and native raptors. We need safer insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides that will have little to no impact on the environment.
These steps help ensure that an unexpected chemical spill is not the straw that breaks the songbird’s back.
American Bird Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving wild birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation. Find us on abcbirds.org, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@ABCbirds).
Nearly all seafood contains mercury, a naturally occurring metal buried deep in the Earth’s crust. At room temperature, elemental mercury is quite dangerous; just a few drops can contaminate an entire room. When heated, the element becomes an odorless, colorless gas that can travel great distances before being absorbed into bodies of water. It can also enter lakes, rivers, and oceans when human activities’ waste or runoff flows into the surrounding biomes.
Here, we explore how this hazardous metal escapes from rocks to pollute aquatic habitats. We also detail measures we can take to remove mercury from marine ecosystems, improving the health of marine animals and the ocean.
Mercury and the Environment
Mercury finds its way out of the Earth and into living creatures in several ways. While forest fires and volcanoes release toxic gas into the atmosphere, the most significant cause is human activity, accounting for nearly two-thirds of all mercury released into the environment.1
Each year in the United States, burned fossil fuels release 160 tons of mercury into the atmosphere.1 Eventually, it returns to Earth through rainfall, air deposition, or gravitational forces and is transferred into the ocean. Research estimates that between 80,000 and 450,000 metric tons of mercury pollute our oceans, with around 66% of the chemical residing in shallower waters.2
Agricultural processes; municipal, industrial, and medical waste; and the burning of wood or any mercury-containing waste can also release the toxin into the air. This is known as non-point source pollution.3
Mercury can also enter environments through direct point sources where factories—including paper mills and battery manufacturers—or mining operations expel the chemical into nearby marine habitats. Mercury can also contaminate freshwater when engineers flood land to create reservoirs for hydroelectric power. As the waterlogged plants and trees decay, the resulting low-oxygen environment allows bacteria to thrive, and those microorganisms combine elemental or inorganic mercury with carbon to create methylmercury.
What Is Methylmercury?
Methylmercury is a neurotoxic compound of mercury and carbon that bioaccumulates in the marine food chain. When humans consume mercury, it is almost always in this form.
In this compounded form, methylmercury can attach itself to tiny particles in the water and soil in aquatic habitats, where it collects and builds up throughout the food web. According to the Centers for Disease Control, it is this hazardous substance in specific that scientists see collecting in living creatures—from coral, to fish, to birds, to humans.
Fish and Mercury Exposure
Tilefish contain high levels of mercury.
Because anthropogenic activity expels so much mercury into the atmosphere, nearly all aquatic life around the globe has traces of mercury as well as other contaminants known as persistent organic pollutants. One 2009 study from the U.S. Geological Service found mercury in every fish sampled from 291 streams across the country; a quarter of the fish tested had mercury levels that exceeded human consumption guidelines.4
Mercury is also highly bioaccumulative, meaning that concentrations of the element increase simply because living creatures absorb it from their surrounding environment. Once released into a body of water, mercury attaches itself to the fat cells of fish, passing through the lipid membranes of cells and spreading throughout the surrounding tissue.5
Because it binds so well with proteins and amino acids in the muscle of fish, mercury quickly travels up the food chain. Small fish eat particles containing mercury; then those fish are eaten by bigger fish where the mercury from the small fish coalesces, increasing by roughly a factor of 10 at each step along the way.6 The longer the fish lives, the more mercury it retains.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists top predator species—including tilefish, swordfish, sharks, and king mackerel—as the fish with the highest levels of mercury. In contrast, bottom-feeding scallops, clams, and shrimp have the lowest. Fish exposed to the methylated element can experience several issues, including reproductive toxicity, congenital disabilities, and disruptions to the nervous system.7
While the effects of mercury consumption on humans have been widely studied, its impact on fish and aquatic ecosystems has not seen the same level of investigation. Still, the limited research describes how mercury can damage fish genes, cells, and proteins, causing profound changes to behavior, growth, and survival.
Humans and Mercury Exposure
People exposed to mercury by eating contaminated fish, working in mercury mines, or other means suffer from similar health problems. Either through food consumption or air pollution, mercury is almost entirely absorbed into the bloodstream and then distributed quickly through all the tissues of the body. The largest amount of the poison collects in the brain, which is why mercury is considered a neurological toxin.8
With an estimated half-life of 39 to 80 days, levels of the toxin can build up in the human body over time, just like in fish.5
Reducing Mercury Exposure
For those with the preference and privilege to avoid eating fish, reducing mercury exposure from eating fish is simple enough. For the three billion people worldwide who depend on seafood for survival, it’s difficult to fathom that the advice to avoid mercury exposure is simply to eat fish in moderation.9 But short of global governmental intervention, eating less fish may be consumers’ only way of avoiding harmful levels of this ever-present toxin.
Only by reducing the amount of mercury introduced into the atmosphere can humans lower the amount of mercury in fish. Luckily, research at the International Institute for Sustainable Development Experimental Lakes Area found that when mercury is no longer added to an ecosystem, the ecosystem can heal, ultimately reducing the amount of mercury humans consume. This healing, however, can vary significantly between bodies of water; the response time in one part of the world might be quite different from somewhere else.
Still, positive changes are underway: 138 parties have ratified an international treaty called the Minamata Convention on Mercury. The initiative aims to #makemercuryhistory and to keep people healthy by reducing the number of neurotoxins released into the environment. Efforts include limiting mercury in consumer products (including skin-lightening face creams), banning the construction of additional mercury mines, and controlling the release of mercury in the air, water, and land.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), too, has issued new standards controlling the emissions from power plants burning fossil fuels, and the efforts have made a significant difference in the health outcomes of people affected by mercury exposure. Since 2015 when the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards went into effect, the regulations have prevented 130,000 asthma attacks, 4,700 heart attacks, and 11,000 early deaths.10
Incinerated municipal and medical waste was at one time a significant source of mercury emissions, but thanks to federal and state regulations, these emissions have been almost zeroed out.11 The EPA has also outlined the Methylmercury Fish Tissue Criterion—guidelines for acceptable levels of mercury in fish—as well as funding programs to clean up contaminated sites.
Restoring Ocean Health
Processes that remove mercury from aquatic habitats can play a role in rehabilitating global oceans. The most common, reliable, and affordable treatment is coagulation/filtration, which uses aluminum sulfate to consolidate both inorganic mercury and methylmercury into a solid that can be removed from the water and summarily disposed of at a hazardous waste site. Other processes include reverse osmosis, lime softening, and activated carbon.
Researchers have also looked to other aquatic life for inspiration to rid the ocean of mercury. Like all heavy metals, mercury is deadly to coral because the sea creatures so easily absorb the substance. In 2015 a team of scientists used this notion to invent a synthetic coral made of nanoplates of aluminum oxide that, through biomimicry, can actually remove mercury from the water by pulling in the metallic particles, just as biological coral would.12
Mercury contamination is undeniably one of the biggest environmental issues humanity faces, and while there has been significant awareness of and progress toward removing mercury in seafood, without worldwide diligence, humans still face rising levels of exposure. Anthropogenic activities like industrial-scale agriculture and deforestation can potentially disturb the long-term storage of mercury in soils, creating another potential source of mercury pollution.2 Without further and fast action to restore ocean habitats to their historical level of mercury, the future of marine ecosystems—and, by extension, all life on Earth—could be in great peril.
Frequently Asked Questions
How harmful is mercury in fish? Mercury in fish is harmful to the fish and the people who eat fish. It is a potent neurotoxin that can affect brain development in children and fetuses. That’s why the EPA recommends limiting the consumption of fish with higher concentrations and instead eating clams, shrimp, and scallops that have lower levels of exposure.
Do all fish have mercury in them? According to the FDA, almost all shellfish and fish have at least trace levels of mercury.
What fish is lowest in mercury? Small fish like anchovies, Atlantic mackerel, catfish, flounder, haddock, mullet, plaice, pollock, and salmon as well as shellfish like clams, crab, crawfish, and oysters have the lowest levels of mercury contamination, according to the FDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
By now, most of us have heard about the Norfolk Southern train that crashed in East Palestine, Ohio while it was carrying toxic chemicals. Residents in the area are rightly concerned that their air, water, and soil could have been poisoned as a result of the crash.
It turns out, they’re not the only ones who should be concerned. Authorities have now revealed that approximately 43,700 animals died because of the hazardous materials involved in this derailment.
Sign the petition to demand a full and thorough cleanup of the waterways these animals called home!
Officials originally estimated that around 3,500 animals had been killed, but after conducting a more thorough investigation, they realized that number was closer to 45,000 animals. And this only accounts for animals that were within a 5-mile radius of the catastrophe!
All of the 43,700 creatures that were killed due to this calamity were aquatic, including many species of fish. There’s a high likelihood that this is going to throw local ecosystems wildly out of balance!
Poisoned dead fish means fish-eating species will be left without food. They won’t be able to breed or migrate. They won’t be able to play their part in the vital food chain that maintains healthy biodiversity.
The government has already required the rail company involved, Norfolk Southern, to pay the costs of all environmental clean-up associated with its toxic disaster. However, we must ensure it actually follows through, and to the highest standard! All too often, corporations find a way to delay, avoid, half-ass the job, or shirk such duties entirely.
Sign the petition to tell the Norfolk Southern company: we will be watching! Conduct a thorough cleanup of your environmental hazards – now!
A Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous materials derailed in Van Buren Township, Michigan, on Feb. 18, 2023, less than two weeks after another Norfolk Southern train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. There were no reports of chemicals leaking in the Michigan accident. Nick Hagen / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Founded in 2005 as an Ohio-based environmental newspaper, EcoWatch is a digital platform dedicated to publishing quality, science-based content on environmental issues, causes, and solutions.
From spills to fires at industrial facilities to the recent train derailment in Ohio, it seems chemical accidents are making the news more and more. But it’s not just your imagination — a map by the Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters shows that chemical accidents are happening at a rate of one every two days in the U.S.
The Chemical Facility Incidents map allows viewers to see chemical-related incidents in their local areas. The coalition noted, “On average, there is a chemical fire, explosion or toxic release every two days in the U.S.”
In the first seven weeks of 2023, there have been more than 30 recorded incidents, as reported by The Guardian. However, the count could be higher, as the coalition does not record incidents that lack enough information or precise location data. The Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters recorded 188 incidents in 2022 and 177 in 2021.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) told The Guardian that it has had an average of 235 emergency response actions per year for the last decade, but it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact number of incidents with hazardous chemicals.
But these events are common across the country, putting many communities in danger of the next equipment malfunction, fire, leak or spill.
“What happened in East Palestine, this is a regular occurrence for communities living adjacent to chemical plants,” said Mathy Stanislaus, former assistant administrator for the EPA’s office of land and emergency management during Barack Obama’s presidency. “They live in daily fear of an accident.”
The train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio is one of 10 railway incidents the coalition has recorded since April 2020. Most of the accidents are linked to industrial facilities that manufacture, use or store hazardous chemicals.
Poynter reported that around 124 million people, or 39% of the population in the U.S., live within 3 miles of at least one of these facilities. Stanislaus told The Guardian that about 200 million people are regularly at risk of exposure to chemicals following an accident, with people of color, low-income, and other disadvantaged groups at the most risk.
The EPA, under the Clean Air Act, has a Risk Management Program requiring facilities to have a protocol in place for risk management. The agency proposed updates for tighter regulations under the program in 2022, saying, “Accidents and chemical releases from RMP facilities occur every year. They cause fires and explosions, damage to property, acute and chronic exposures of workers and nearby residents to hazardous materials and result in serious injuries and fatalities.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and many chemical industry organizations have opposed the proposed updates.
But increasing numbers of incidents, including the train derailment in East Palestine, have increased concern over safety and public health for communities across the country.
“Recent chemical disasters have highlighted shortcomings in federal regulations that fail to sufficiently protect workers and communities living near hazardous chemical facilities,” reads a recent letter to the EPA from 49 members of Congress.
The letter’s signees have called on the EPA to propose even stronger amendments to the Risk Management Program, including transitioning to safer chemicals, requiring third-party audits and providing more information about emergency response plans, even before incidents occur.
Residents in Ohio and Pennsylvania have been repeatedly told that they are “safe” after a Norfolk Southern train derailment caused a huge release of hazardous chemicals into the air, land, and water. Meanwhile, residents are continuing to report that they are experiencing health issues—from rashes to difficulty breathing—and are expected to navigate the emergency response and healthcare systems on their own.
This needs to change.
“Safe” means people can vacuum their homes without worrying about kicking up toxic pollution.
“Safe” means having independent test results that examine every necessary parameter and indicate there’s no harm.
“Safe” means being able to be in your home without the risk that health problems will develop months or years from now.
State officials in Ohio and Pennsylvania must take transparent, proactive steps to ensure that residents are able to access the information and support that they need.
Add your name to this petition to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro.
Evacuations. People and animals exposed to hazardous chemicals. Mounting cleanup costs. These are just a few of the reasons a community is in crisis after a tragic train derailment.
A Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous materials, some known to cause cancer, derailed on Feb. 3rd in the town of East Palestine, Ohio. Weeks later, the situation seems to only be growing more dire. The EPA has demanded Norfolk Southern pay for cleanup costs, residents are flooding health centers with reports of illness, and people report animals getting sick and even dying.
The people impacted and American taxpayers could bear the costs for years to come. That is why it is imperative Norfolk Southern commits to paying 100% of the costs associated with the derailment. Add your name if you believe Norfolk Southern, not the victims or taxpayers, should pay for the cleanup, healthcare costs, and all other damages associated with the derailment.
A Norfolk Southern freight train carrying toxic chemicals near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border derailed and caught fire in early February. The spill of chemicals seeped into the earth, air, and water. Locals have reported feeling sick, and many in the affected area’s pets have died.
Sign the petition to demand Norfolk Southern set up and fund healthcare and monitoring for residents in both states!
Norfolk Southern could have prevented this crash, but instead, chose to take shortcuts, resulting in the toxic chemical spill that caught fire and turned into hydrochloric acid.
Residents were told to evacuate for only three days, and many are questioning if it’s actually safe to return.
Even short exposure to hydrochloric acid can lead to blindness, severe burns, and internal damage – and now, it’s in the air and water in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
It’s still unclear exactly what the lasting effects of the spill could be, but some scientists say that the impact of the spill could potentially be felt for years.
Many have voiced their distrust of the government and Norfolk Southern, which is already being sued for the crash. A journalist was even arrested for trying to do his job during a recent news conference about the crash.
Sign the petition to demand Norfolk Southern set up and fund healthcare and monitoring for residents affected by the train crash!
(Natural News) An act of ecological terrorism has been carried out in Ohio as “authorities” set fire to as many as ten train cars carrying highly toxic vinyl chloride (and other chemicals), unleashing a massive plume of chemical-laden smoke that exploded into the skies and spread for hundreds of square miles.
The idea that this is being called a “controlled burn” by the lying fake news media is beyond absurd. If you want to control chemicals, you don’t set them on fire in an open field and disperse the byproducts of combustion into the skies. That’s not a controlled burn, that’s setting off a chemical gas bomb.
The byproduct of this combustion, by the way, includes hydrogen chloride, which almost instantly grabs water molecules from the humidity in the atmosphere, creating Hydrochloric Acid (HCl), a highly toxic acid that burns lungs, flesh and even fish gills when absorbed into water. (And yes, it’s highly water soluble.)
No wonder a mass kill event affecting fish, wildlife, chickens and pets is being reported by citizens in the area, even as the government, National Guard, EPA and dishonest mass media carry out a criminal cover-up. They are arresting reporters and threatening photographers, trying to cast a net of silence over this ecological catastrophe, hoping to distract Americans with the Superbowl and stories of “alien balloons” in the skies.
About the author: Mike Adams (aka the “Health Ranger“) is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com called “Food Forensics“), an environmental scientist, a patent holder for a cesium radioactive isotope elimination invention, a multiple award winner for outstanding journalism, a science news publisher and influential commentator on topics ranging from science and medicine to culture and politics. Follow his videos, podcasts, websites and science projects at the links below.
Mike Adams serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation. He has also achieved numerous laboratory breakthroughs in the programming of automated liquid handling robots for sample preparation and external standards prep.
The U.S. patent office has awarded Mike Adams patent NO. US 9526751 B2 for the invention of “Cesium Eliminator,” a lifesaving invention that removes up to 95% of radioactive cesium from the human digestive tract. Adams has pledged to donate full patent licensing rights to any state or national government that needs to manufacture the product to save human lives in the aftermath of a nuclear accident, disaster, act of war or act of terrorism. He has also stockpiled 10,000 kg of raw material to manufacture Cesium Eliminator in a Texas warehouse, and plans to donate the finished product to help save lives in Texas when the next nuclear event occurs. No independent scientist in the world has done more research on the removal of radioactive elements from the human digestive tract.
Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and American Indians. He is of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his “Health Ranger” passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.
Adams is the author of the world’s first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.
In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.
With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.
Four companies that developed solar energy facilities in Alabama, Idaho and Illinois have agreed to pay a total of $1.3 million for violating construction permits and rules for handling groundwater, authorities said Monday.
A statement by the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency said the companies used a common construction contractor. In each case, the government alleged companies failed to take steps to control runoff water. In Alabama and Idaho, sediment from construction sites got into nearby waterways, the government said.
The cases involved AL Solar A LLC, which built a solar farm near LaFayette, Alabama; American Falls Solar LLC, which owned a site near American Falls, Idaho; Prairie State Solar LLC, owner of a development in Perry County, Illinois; and Big River Solar LLC, which had a development in White County, Illinois, according to the statement.
The solar farm owners are all subsidiaries of large international companies, the government said.
AL Solar will pay $500,000 in civil penalties to state and federal regulators, it said, and American Falls will pay a civil penalty of $416,500 to the federal government. The Illinois sites remain under construction, and officials there have to follow the rules for the remainder of the work.
The article has been updated with a statement from GE Renewable Energy.
One of the wind turbines at Arklow Bank, Ireland’s first and so far only offshore wind farm, has caught fire after it was presumably struck by lightning amid severe weather with thunderstorms that hit the area, according to Irish RTE.
The 25.2 MW Arklow Bank, commissioned in 2004, was co-developed by SSE and GE Energy as Arklow Bank Phase 1, a demonstrator project to prove the opportunity that offshore wind energy could represent for Ireland.
The wind farm, located off the coast of Arklow, Co. Wicklow, comprises seven 3 MW wind turbines and is owned and operated by GE Energy under a sublease to the foreshore lease.
The unit that caught fire was first showing visible fire and was engulfed in heavy smoke, according to multiple social media posts.
“An offshore wind turbine event has been reported on October 19th, 2022, at the Arklow Bank Offshore Windfarm located in the Irish Sea. There were no injuries. The Coast Guard has been notified”, a GE Renewable Energy spokesperson said in a statement.
“Once weather conditions permit and we can access the site safely, we will start working to determine the root cause of this event.”
SSE Renewables is also developing the next phase of the Arklow Bank project which was initially planned to have a capacity of 520 MW.
However, following the transfer of Arklow Bank Wind Park Phase 2 to the Maritime Area Planning (MAP) process in March 2022, the project was revised to substantially increase the power generation output from the site to up to 800 MW.
With the transfer of the Phase 2 project to the new consenting regime, SSE also plans to have the new, 800 MW offshore wind farm built by 2028, instead of the originally planned 2025.
Published 14 mins ago on September 20, 2022 By BNO News
Scientists in New Zealand have raised the alert level at the Taupō supervolcano from 0 to 1 after a series of small earthquakes, but emphasize that the chance of an eruption “remains very low.” The last eruption happened nearly 1,800 years ago.
Geological agency GeoNet said nearly 700 small earthquakes have been recorded at Lake Taupō since May of this year, although many of them were too weak to be felt on land. The largest was a 4.5-magnitude earthquake on September 10.
Ground deformation has also been observed at Horomatangi Reef, where the existing magmatic system is believed to be located and where most of the earthquakes have been recorded.
“We interpret the ground uplift and earthquake activity to be caused by the movement of magma and the hydrothermal fluids inside the volcano,” the agency said. “We have also sampled springs and gas vents around the lake for changes in chemistry that may be related to the earthquake and ground uplift.”
As a result, GeoNet has raised the Volcanic Alert Level for Taupō from 0 to 1 for the first time since the alert levels were introduced in 1994. The system has 6 levels, from 0 to 5, although an eruption is possible at any level.
There have been 17 episodes of unrest at Taupō since 1870, including four episodes which could’ve been classified at alert level 2 if the system had existed, according to GeoNet. None of those events caused an eruption.
“The Volcanic Alert Level reflects the current level of volcanic unrest or activity and is not a forecast of future activity,” GeoNet said in Tuesday’s statement. “Volcanic unrest at volcanoes like Taupō could continue for months or years and not result in an eruption.”
The Taupō Volcano caused the largest eruption on Earth in the past 5,000 years when it exploded nearly 1,800 years ago, covering lakeside areas in tens of meters of rock and pyroclastic flows. Parts of the North Island were covered in at least 1 cm of ash.
An even bigger eruption occurred at the volcano about 25,500 years ago, creating a large basin that formed much of the present lake shape. It least 27 other eruptions are known to have happened in between those events, many of which were much smaller.
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