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Nykvist: City of Mobile Continues to Poison Mobile Waterways by Neglect

16 Jun 2013

written by Mailer-Daemon


City of Mobile Continues to Poison Mobile Waterways by Neglect

re: One Mile Creek and Maple Street Canal pollution documented on Oct2011, Dec2011, Feb2012, Apr2012, June2012, Aug2012, Oct2012, Dec2012, Feb2013, Apr2013 and now June2013.

Rob Nykvist sent us this report on the continuing deplorable waterway conditions in Mobile county. If you can read this entire article and not be upset by the obvious neglect and lack of leadership on this issue, there’s something wrong with you.

Bi-monthly (every two months) inspection photos of the trash-impaired Three Mile Creek watershed can be found in the links below. All the same old trash is still there.

Zero manual effort to keep Mobile’s valuable waterway assets free of trash is not unacceptable. To not have anyone responsible for keeping our waterways clean is a major flaw in public safety and environmental management.

Basically, it is time for the same two questions again:

1. Is it safe to kayak in the waterways by the leachate seepages that flow into One Mile Creek and Maple Street Canal from the toxic Hickory Street Landfill? 

The only way to determine if contaminants are migrating into these wetlands and creeks surrounding the landfill is by testing which was recommended by the Health Department, not me. Has the wetland and creek testing been done yet? ADEM stopped answering my emails again. Someone in ADEM should be fired.

Is not having money the issue? I was advised that I could hire an expert, fly him to Mobile, help him collect a few sediment samples by standard EPA collection protocols, help him get the samples to the local lab (TestAmerica) and tested, and fly him back home for less than $2000. The two simple tests I ask for, an cheap echo of what the Health Department calls for, will not burden society with a huge debt and it will provide an answer to the valid public safety question I keep asking.

2. When is the plastic pollution going to be removed from Maple Street Canal, like seen in the below photo? 

City of Mobile spokesperson Barbara Drummond’s canned excuse that the City can’t go on private property to remove shoreline trash that the City’s storm water system deposited there doesn’t hold water (pardon the pun). The majority of waterway trash can be reached by a grabber from a flat water boat or canoe without ever setting foot on anyone’s property. Getting a disclaimer or waiver signed for permission to access densely polluted waterway properties is also an option.

Is not having money the issue with the City of Mobile not having anyone removing trash from Three Mile Creek watershed? You know, the City of Mobile can save even more money by not having anyone replacing traffic lights that go out . . . by not having anyone repairing road potholes . . . by not having anyone unclogging grease filled sewer pipes . . . by not having anyone cleaning up after storm and accident damage . . . by not having anyone mow City parks and Right-Of-Ways . . . by not having anyone sweeping city streets . . . by not having anyone removing the public’s garbage every week. To be fair, the City should rely on volunteers do all that work once a year, too. Yeah, the once a year volunteer thing won’t go over very well with the public. Neither does a poorly designed DESMI litter trap that goes under water during every heavy rain when it is most needed to float to catch some of the floating trash. The proven method that removes about 99 percent of waterway garbage is to actually have a real person out on the trash impaired waterways removing it. The City’s policy of relying on volunteer events to keep watersheds clean is certainly proving it is  flawed.

Lack of Money is not the problem. Lack of leadership to establish common sense policy to stop the Clean Water Act violations is the problem. Keeping a watershed clean can be done by one person.  The consequence to the City of Mobile so far for ignoring the Clean Water Act has been fines and lawsuits and still, the City of Mobile does not have a single worker out removing the public’s illegal litter from the public waterways.

Mobile’s leaders continue to ignore the slow poisoning of Mobile’s waterways. That, in a nutshell, is the same as domestic terrorism perpetrated on the citizens of Mobile who use the public waterways by a group of elected leaders showing absolutely ZERO respect for the water environment which as humans we are so reliant on for survival.

It think it is idiotic for the City of Mobile to be forced to give an Engineering firm half a million dollars a year to do paperwork to satisfy State requirements that the State implements to satisfy Federal requirements related to Clean Water Act laws enacted to keep our public waterways clean and healthy for the future use.

All this money, time, and effort spent on paperwork and a few regular water tests supposedly keeping our public waters safe, yet public agencies and environmental groups do not even require the use of first flush inlet filters to remove contaminants like motor oil from storm water runoff. Yet, Mobile as a whole, a county of over 400,000 people with hundreds of miles of trash impaired shorelines employs ZERO people to keep Three Mile Creek watershed clean. Go Figure…

Let the Clean Water Act fines and lawsuits against the City of Mobile continue until Mobile’s flawed water management policy changes so that trash pollution is regularly removed from Three Mile Creek watershed all year long.

Please email anyone you think that cares about the environment who might be able to fix this flaw through legislation or by the firing people like Public Works director John Bell.

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