Sunday, January 9, 2011

How's the cleanup going? part n

The Navy is still cleaning up the former Alameda Naval Air station.  It is a sight to behold, something on the order of the building of the pyramids.  Doesn't involve nearly as many people, but we have machinery that can do the work of hundreds if not thousands of people.

Here is a view of the seaplane lagoon from the top of our shop in building 29.  The bottom of the lagoon is reportedly lined with mud that has considerable amounts of toxic solvents and a small amount of radium in it. At some  point, contractors will pump the mud and the toxins it contains up onto land and then haul it off someplace else where it will still be toxic but not near any people who have access to a politician.

So the scheme as it appears, is to pump the mud out of the lagoon, but to keep the toxins from re-entering the ground when they get on land by making the ground impervious.  Hence, the concrete will be topped off with asphalt, shown here in large piles.

Here's the crew with a paving machine with an asphalt truck backed up to it.

And here is the paving machine putting the asphalt down on a layer of plastic sheeting.  I suppose the sheeting will make it easier to pull up the asphalt when the job is done. 
Mind you, I am not critical of toxic cleanup.  What I am critical of is that we are focusing on cleanup and not on prevention.  Regardless of how well we manage our toxins, they will end up somewhere once we create them.  So why not think twice about manufacturing them in the first place.  Can we do without the stuff that we need the toxins for? 

No comments: