Monday, December 20, 2010

Mayor Daley and his cronies...

...over at the Department of Water Management here in Chicago...

...need a quick visit from this woman...

Julia Roberts as "Erin Brockovich"

...or someone just as tough!

High levels of chromium found in Chicago-area tap water

Advocacy group reports level of cancer-causing metal is three times as high as considered safe under a California proposal

The cancer-causing metal made infamous by the movie "Erin Brockovich" is turning up in tap water from Chicago and more than two dozen other cities, according to a new study that urges federal regulators to adopt tougher standards.

Even though scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Toxicology Program have linked the ingestion of hexavalent chromium to cancer, the EPA doesn't require Chicago or other cities to test for the toxic metal.

Nor does the EPA limit the dangerous form of chromium in drinking water.

To take a snapshot of what is flowing through taps across the nation, the Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based research and advocacy organization, hired an independent laboratory that found the metal in treated drinking water from 31 cities.

The amount in Lake Michigan water pumped to 7 million people in Chicago and its suburbs was 0.18 parts per billion, three times higher than a safety limit California officials proposed last year.


The Chicago Department of Water Management said tap water is still safe. "Our water ... meets or exceeds all standards set by the EPA," the department said in a prepared statement.

The source of chromium in Chicago drinking water is unclear, though federal records show that some of the nation's biggest industrial sources are four steel mills in northwest Indiana that discharge wastewater into the city's source of drinking water.

Last year alone, records show, the U.S. Steel and Arcelor Mittal mills dumped a combined 3,100 pounds of chromium into Lake Michigan and its tributaries, less than 9 miles away from Chicago's water-intake crib off 68th Street.

Read the rest here.


How about it, Mister Mare? Don't the inhabitants of Chicago and its environs deserve CLEAN, UNCONTAMINATED DRINKING WATER?

On the lighter side...

Tonight's the night!

From Astronomy Picture of the Day:

A Lunar Eclipse on Solstice Day

Credit & Copyright: Jerry Lodriguss (Catching the Light)

Sometime after sunset tonight, the Moon will go dark.

This total lunar eclipse, where the entire Moon is engulfed in the shadow of the Earth, will be visible from all of North America, while the partial phase of this eclipse will be visible throughout much of the rest of the world.

Observers on North America's east coast will have to wait until after midnight for totality to begin, while west coasters should be able to see a fully darkened moon before midnight. Pictured above is a digital prediction, in image form, for how the Moon and the surrounding sky could appear near maximum darkness.

Parts of the Moon entering the circle labeled umbra will appear the darkest since the Sun there will be completely blocked by the Earth. Parts of the Moon entering the circle labeled penumbra will be exposed to some direct sunlight, and so shine by some degree by reflected light.

The diminished glare of the normally full Moon will allow unusually good viewings of nearby celestial wonders such as the supernova remnant Simeis 147, the open star cluster M35, and the Crab Nebula M1.

By coincidence this eclipse occurs on the day with the shortest amount of daylight in the northern hemisphere -- the Winter Solstice.

This solstice eclipse is the first in 456 years, although so far it appears that no one has figured out when the next solstice eclipse will be.


Unfortunately, we here in Chicago are expecting cloudy skies tonight. case the sky does clear, the best viewing time will be just past midnight to about 4 AM.

Harry and his shenanigans...

Senator Harry Reid (D-evil, NV), who doesn't know left from right when it comes to his toupee


In Sunday-evening surprise, Senate unanimously passes food safety bill

The Senate unexpectedly approved food safety legislation by unanimous consent Sunday evening, rescuing a bill that floated in limbo for weeks because of a clerical error.The Senate passed the Food Safety and Modernization Act on Nov. 30 by a vote of 73-25. But the bill was later invalidated by a technical objection because it was a revenue-raising measure that did not originate in the House — Senate staff had failed to substitute the food safety language into a House-originated bill.


Republicans, however, later agreed to pass it by unanimous consent.


Reid’s staff earlier in the day had told a coalition of groups supporting the legislation that it had a chance of passing but the prospects appeared to dim as Sunday wore on. The swift approval by unanimous consent caught some aides and lobbyists working on it by surprise.
Sen. Tom Coburn, the outspoken conservative Republican from Oklahoma, had been blocking the legislation. He lifted his objection at the final moment.


Absolutely disgusting show by our 'servants' in the Senate!

If you'd like to read S 510 (Summary or Full Text) go here.

You might also like Mike Adams' take at Natural News: "Top ten lies about Senate Bill 510"

I'm wondering: If this passes the House, will Mrs. O have to lose the famous (but toxic) White House demi-organic garden?