Superstorm Sandy dumped 11 billion gallons of raw sewage into eastern United States waterways

shitstorm

Hurricane Sandy dumped about 11 billion gallons of raw and untreated sewage into waterways from Washington DC to Connecticut, the science journalism group Climate Central said on Tuesday. That’s enough human waste to cover New York’s Central Park in 41ft of sewage, or fill 17,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools…

The group, which drew on data from the Environmental Protection Agency, state protection agencies and water treatment plants, said most of the outflow during the storm, which hit the eastern US in October last year, was caused by storm surges, which overwhelmed sewage treatment plants. But power shutdowns – and heavy rain in Washington DC – also played a part. A third of the sewage was untreated.

The scientists said the report exposed yet another risk factor to America’s crumbling infrastructure, due to climate change.

New York City authorities have been working for years to reinforce the city’s subway system, which is vulnerable to flooding, and to shore up power stations, which are located along the coast. The scientists said that in the wake of Sandy, when storm surges raised waters more than 9ft above the high tide mark, it was time to look at waste-treatment plants.

“Our sewage infrastructure isn’t built to withstand such surges and we are putting our property, safety and lives at risk if we don’t adequately plan for these challenges,” said Alyson Kenward, a senior scientist and research manager for Climate Central, adding that almost all of the sewage had ended up in New Jersey and New York…

The estimated cost of repairs to New York and New Jersey’s sewage treatment plants could reach $4.7 billion. “In the long run, sea-level rise is going to force us to rework our infrastructure physically if we are going to keep it intact,” she said.

There isn’t any part of superstructure repair, maintenance or upgrades that Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats in Congress care a rat’s ass about. They operate under the assumption that voters only care about dollars – like the money-grubbing thugs they’ve elected.

Stupid DOMA rules even screw-up Wall Street’s recruiting

U.S. restrictions on same-sex marriage are making it harder for Wall Street to attract some foreign workers, said executives including R. Martin Chavez, who leads equities trading for Goldman Sachs…

Chavez, a 49-year-old U.S. citizen, cited his own story as an example of the potential hurdles those restrictions create, saying they almost forced him to leave the country. He married his partner last year, which proved to be problematic when they tried to replace his partner’s student visa.

“We got married in the state of New York,” Chavez said at the event, which was held at Goldman Sachs’s Manhattan headquarters. “You’d think this would be a wonderful thing, except we ended up in this crazed paradox where because we were married in the state of New York, that created the presumption of his attempt to immigrate, which meant he would not be eligible for a student F-1 visa.”

Because of the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law that the U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing, the marriage doesn’t give Chavez’s partner the right to immigrate or obtain a green card permitting him to live and work in the country.

After several months of interviews and paperwork, Chavez’s husband received a new visa. In the meantime, Chavez said he spoke to Goldman Sachs executives about moving his role to London if his husband wasn’t allowed back into the U.S. He also considered retiring from his job running the largest equity- trading business in the world and moving abroad…

While the issue affects only a limited number of employees, it can result in significant costs for companies that have to move workers out of the U.S. or in lost productivity from dealing with an employee’s or partner’s immigration status, Alisa Seminara, associate general counsel for Citigroup said at the event…

The immigration issues will probably be remedied if the Supreme Court strikes down DOMA, which defines marriage as a heterosexual union and prohibits gay spouses from claiming federal benefits, Rachel Tiven at Immigration Equality said. The court may rule on the case by the end of June. Activists are also pushing for inclusion of same-sex rights in an immigration bill being debated in Congress…

Overdue. But, then, that’s always been the lot of civil rights in America.

The most reactionary elements in our land seem to spend a significant portion of their waking life working to manipulate Congress – and state and local government – into denying full civil rights for ordinary citizens feared and hated by cowards and bigots.

Oklahoma nutball declares sovereignty from government

Shane Farrell Thomas, 37, a Del City contractor accused of embezzlement, is among those who say they do not recognize government’s authority to impose laws or taxes…

“We know they are in Oklahoma because we see and hear about their paper activity in our court system,” said Tamara Pratt, deputy director of the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism in Oklahoma City. “That’s their method of operation.”

‘Sovereign citizens’ such as Thomas, a defendant in multiple embezzlement cases, usually represent themselves in court, filing nonsensical paperwork on their own behalf.

“They like to flood the courts with false liens against public officials,” Pratt said, adding that ‘sovereigns’ don’t pay taxes, create false license plates and driver’s licenses and sometimes make currency as a means of defiance.

On Friday, Thomas was taken into custody by courthouse deputies before the start of his preliminary hearing. An arrest warrant for Thomas was issued after he failed to appear for a previous hearing.

Handcuffed and with his mother in tow, the Del City man reappeared before Oklahoma County Special Judge Larry A. Jones and promptly asked the judge to remove himself from the case…

Jones fired back, telling Thomas a counterclaim he filed that names the judge as a defendant has no merit because “there is no such creature” in criminal cases…“The arguments you’re making today are nonsensical and not relevant to these proceedings,” the judge told Thomas. “You’re clueless.”

Thomas, a contractor, is accused in four felony cases of embezzling more than $100,000 from friends and neighbors who paid him to complete home repairs, court records show…

Thomas, who referred to himself in court papers filed this week as “a living son of our Father God” and “one of the sovereign people of Oklahoma,” declined to comment about his beliefs or the rights of his alleged victims outside of court.

We don’t recognize him as anything more than a criminal defendant,” District Attorney David Prater said Friday…

A useless representative of nutball politics, the silliest sort of anarchy come full circle from left to right. He whines about paying his fair share as thoroughly as the 1% at the top of corporate America.