Our environment is a really fragile thing. Once we’ve destroyed it, it could take centuries for it to fix itself, so we must be careful with it. The Associated Press reported today on an environmental disaster that happened about a hundred miles northeast of Indianapolis. It seems that Houston based Buckeye Pipe Line spilled at least 8000 gallons of jet fuel right into the St. Marys River near tiny Decatur, Indiana.
Buckeye engineers say they immediately shut down the line Friday evening when it detected a pressure problem. Local officials say that booms were placed in the river to keep the fuel from traveling too far downriver, and other machines were busy vacuuming off the water’s surface. Decatur Mayor Kenneth Meyer says the cleanup could take weeks to finish.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in the process of monitoring air quality in neighborhoods and businesses near the St. Marys River. The EPA said it is also monitoring water quality at several locations downstream just in case the booms don’t contain it all.
While it’s important for consumers to have access to petroleum products, we must start moving things like gas, jet fuel, and oil in a safer way. We have to figure out a way to protect our rivers, creeks, and wetlands from these disastrous spills. People and animals depend on waterways for their livelihoods and lives and we shouldn’t be gambling with them by continually polluting them.
When corporations destroy or harm our waterways they need to pay through the nose in fines and cleanups. Unfortunately, our government and the courts usually let these polluters off with a slap on the wrist, and that means they’re not going to change their ways.
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