Saturday, June 21, 2014

US Supreme Court Protects Polluters

A week or so ago the US Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that state laws posing statutes of limitations for environmental crimes are NOT trumped by the federal Superfund law:
"Toxic Water Ruling May Doom Marines' Claims" (2014, June 10) The Arizona Republic, p. 3B."North Carolina's law requiring lawsuits to be brought within 10 years of contamination is not superseded by a federal law designed to give victims a two-year opportunity to file claims after the pollution comes to light"

Other states have similar laws limiting liability for polluters. Victims are simply out of luck.

Another article on this ruling found in The Wall Street Journal explains that residents did not take legal action because they didn't learn the groundwater was contaminated in their area with toxic chemicals until years later.

The contamination was caused by a former electronics plant, CTS Corp. in Asheville NC. The plant was run for more than 25  years, during which it polluted groundwater.

Residents who were unwittingly poisoned are simply out of luck because the Supreme Court ruled that federal Superfund  law, didn't trump state-imposed lawsuit time limits.

The source for the WSJ article is Kendall, B (2014, June 10). Top Court Blocks Suit on Cleanup. The Wall Street Journal, p. B7.

Majia here: A similar situation occurred here in Arizona when it was revealed that Motorola had for decades contaminated the aquifer in Phoenix and Scottsdale:

On May 6, 1992, New Times began a series of investigative reports detailing extensive groundwater pollution linked to Motorola, an $11 billion multinational electronics manufacturing company that is the state's largest employer. Among the findings:
├╣Motorola's two flagship plants have been linked to severe contamination of two separate aquifers in the Valley--one in Scottsdale and one in east Phoenix. Both sites have been placed on the federal Superfund list. Thus far, Motorola has invested nearly $30 million in cleanup efforts at both sites.

Majia here: The Supreme Court essentially absolved polluters when state law offers absurdly low statutes of limitations on polluters.

This recent decision is part of a trend to EXTERNALIZE costs to the unwitting victims of severe environmental contamination.

For example, I recently posted about the EPA's decision to walk away from radioactive toxic waste-dumps:

Here is my post
Here is the article that I examine:
EPA abandons major radiation cleanup in Florida, despite cancer concerns. 

The same pattern of DENIAL and EXTERNALIZATION OF RISK occurs time after time.

Remember when were told the air in the wake of the 9-11 attacks was safe?

Well it wasn't:
Democracy Now White House Pressured EPA Not To Warn Public About Health Effects of 9/11
Remember when we were told that ALL gulf seafood was safe after the BP oil spill?

Well, it wasn't:
Gulf seafood (especially shrimp) full of oil  
Remember when we were told that Fukushima fallout on the west coast posed no risks to human health?

Well it did.
Gundersen: Average person in Seattle inhaled 5 (radioactive) hot particles a day after the disaster
Now the EPA is working to increase allowable exposures of radionuclides. I recommend reading Michael Collins' work on Fukushima as the 'perfect crime.'

It should be clear to all who read this post that the social-welfare state really isn't concerned with social welfare.

American policy making and law is mostly driven by a burning drive to increase the profitability of key industries irrespective of the larger social, economic, and health costs.

America is hardly alone. This is a world-wide problem and it will accelerate our demise.


  1. Quote: "A 5.2-magnitude earthquake struck late Saturday in southeastern Arizona near the New Mexico state line, but there were no initial reports of major damage or injuries. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck at 10 p.m. PT (1 a.m. ET Sunday) and was centered about 31 miles northwest of Lordsburg, New Mexico, and about 179 miles east-southeast of Phoenix. The epicenter was shallow and was in a sparsely populated area north of Interstate 10 and just south of the small town of Duncan, Ariz.

    Monica McDaniel, a clerk at the Hampton Inn in Lourdsburg, told NBC News it was the first earthquake she had ever experienced. "It just felt like all the walls were shaking and trembling," she said. "I didn’t get scared. I just waited for it to stop. I didn’t know what it was." She said the shaking lasted "a good seven seconds" but when it was over there was no damage at the hotel. reported that residents of Gilbert, Mesa and Chandler in Arizona reported feeling the quake."

    Doesn't seem near to site, yet seemed noteworthy.

    1. One person noted that it was about 300 miles westward of the WIPP site.

      Also, "They are still trying to figure out what caused the quake because there is no known fault line in the area."

      Could it be "WIPPy-pop 2, the Plutonium strikes back"??? :/


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