Environmentalism gone mad

For two decades, Alberto Rodriguez has worked in the same cavernous garage along the border between Queens and Brooklyn, surrounded by the clang of metal and the rumbling of engines awaiting repair.

It turns out that he has also been toiling amid potentially dangerous levels of radiation.

Mr. Rodriguez’s shop, Los Primos Auto Repair and Sale, is one of six businesses at the intersection of Cooper and Irving Avenues in Ridgewood, Queens, that have been targeted for demolition as part of a cleanup plan released recently by the Environmental Protection Agency. The businesses are within a Superfund site, the term for sites covered by a program that finances the cleanup of hazardous waste.

Ooooh, gosh!

Mr. Rodriguez’s shop sits atop land formerly occupied by the Wolff-Alport Chemical Company, which from the 1920s through the 1950s extracted metals from imported sand. In the process, the company produced waste containing two radioactive elements, thorium and uranium, which it disposed of by dumping the waste into sewers and perhaps also by burying it, according to the federal plan.

Well, OK, that’s not good practice, certainly. BTW, yes, they were producng rare earths, from monazite, which does indeed contain thorium and uranium. So, how dangerous is it?

If no further remediation were done at the site, a future resident would see an increased risk of cancer of about 0.005 percent, the plan predicted.

So, umm, nothing. And how much will it cost?

The projected cost of the government’s preferred plan for the Wolff-Alport cleanup is more than $39 million.

It’ll cost bundles. So, we’re to spend a lot to achieve nothing. It’s environmentalism gone mad I tell ‘ee!

I would wager that that risk is lower than moving across the Tamar into Cornwall…..and remember, the EU insists that Cornish pasties much actually be made in such a radioactive area these days.

17 thoughts on “Environmentalism gone mad”

  1. The Meissen Bison

    …the EU insists that Cornish pasties must actually be made in such a radioactive area these days.

    Eh? This sounds like one of those PGI thingies where regional manufacturers get together and apply for a degree of protection from manufacturers outside the region but still using the name so Parma ham has to come from Parma and so on.

    I once looked into this for a client but the mountain of DEFRA bureaucracy to climb before one was even in sight of the peaks of the Berlaymont made it far too onerous.

  2. The poison is in the dose/ is in the dose/ is in the dose.

    Repeat after me: …….

    Anyway, I wonder how carcinogenic used sump oil is.

  3. and remember, the EU insists that Cornish pasties much actually be made in such a radioactive area these days.

    Not for much longer, thankfully.

  4. Mr Rodriguez might actually be benefiting from a suitably low dosage of radiation, which some evidence suggests is beneficial to humans……….if he keels over from cancer a few years after leaving his workshop, can he sue?

  5. You can have a long half life with little radiation or a short one with lots. In this case I imagine Mr Rodriguez’ dose was about a dental x ray per year, maybe a chest x ray, tops.

  6. And if the normal cancer likelyhood is one in a million, a 0.005% increase leaves it at 1.005 in a million, in real-world biology terms unmeasurable.

  7. How radioactive is the Grand Canyon? Wasn’t there a huge Uranium mine in the Bright Angel Shales, not far away? They outcrop in the canyon.

    It would be interesting to compare the natural emission intensity with the nuclear test site in Nevada.

  8. How much to build a wall around the block and do nothing else?

    ‘The businesses are within a Superfund site, the term for sites covered by a program that finances the cleanup of hazardous waste.’

    Superfund is French for “A slush fund for Democrat politicians to pay off their supporters.”

  9. Bloke in Cornwall

    Nothing wrong with the radiation levels in Cornwall… I think it makes us all more laid back!! Just means we can’t have a nuclear power station down here ever.

  10. If the base cancer chance was 1 in 2 do you really think that there would be humans alive to ask the question?

    To answer the question, still not enough to bother with.

  11. The EPA’s bureaucrats just lurve their superfunds …. some are accusing them of deliberately and maliciously dumping gold mine processing sludge into a Colorado river system in order to trigger the lottery win of superfunding.

    The EPA in turn are claiming “sovereign immunity” protects them from the consequences of their actions – apparently….

    The EPA’s Al Armendariz springs (“crucify random oil + gas businesses” )to mind – but they have more than their fair share of scaremongering opportunists who’ll flog a project for what they can get out of it – generally in cahoots with chums in the eco-activist industry.

  12. Bloke in North Dorset

    “It would be interesting to compare the natural emission intensity with the nuclear test site in Nevada.”

    Doesn’t matter what the actual levels are because in the eyes of greenies natural is good, man made is always bad.

  13. Bloke in Costa Rica

    To a first approximation both thorium and U238 are not radioactive. In any case it’s only radon daughters that are a risk.

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