Archive for July, 2008


Source: Joe Fay – The Register

MPs have painted a embarrassing picture of the UK’s bio research facilities, describing some labs as “shabby” and “deplorable” after years of underinvestment and neglect.

The Innovations, Universities, Science and Skills committee launched its investigation after the foot and mouth outbreak in Surrey last year, which was eventually traced to a leaky drain at the Institute of Animal Health at Pirbright.

If anyone thought the situation at Pirbright was a one-off, they’ll be disappointed. The report uncovered shortcomings in the way capacity for high containment research (i.e. boffins playing around with scary scary stuff) is provided.

While Porton Down’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory was described as “world class” and “state of the art”, others including the Health Protection Agency site at at Porton Down, and the IAH, were “in need of significant investment given their age”.

The committee identified a “striking lack of co-ordination between organisations who sponsor and run high containment laboratories,” with no one minister having a “strategic overview” of the systems.

Unsurprisingly there were also shortcomings in the funding for the system, particularly for ongoing maintenance. So it’s no surprise that the UK’s most recent foot and mouth outbreak was down to something as mundane as a leaky drain at Pirbright.

The committee made a number of recommendations, including the shocking idea that there should be “complete clarity” over who is in charge of biosecurity, “especially” on sites of “mixed ownership or sponsorship such as at Pirbright”.

Such a “controlling mind” must be “clearly identified and be expected to manage the risks that it creates”, the committee said.

And, into the bargain, the committee reckons “the Government should know the location, capacity and capability of all high containment laboratories in the UK”.

The full report can be found here.

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Source: by Ashley Seager/ Guardian/ July 17, 2008

· Nation slumps from 2nd to 12th in global table
· Richest fifth take home $168,000, poorest $11,000

Despite spending $230m (£115m) an hour on healthcare, Americans live shorter lives
than citizens of almost every other developed country. And while it has the second-highest
income per head in the world, the United States ranks 42nd in terms of life expectancy.

These are some of the startling conclusions from a major new report which attempts
to explain why the world’s number-one economy has slipped to 12th place – from
2nd in 1990- in terms of human development.

The American Human Development Report, which applies rankings of health, education
and income to the US, paints a surprising picture of a country that spends well
over $5bn each day on healthcare – more per person than any other country.

The report, Measure of America, was funded by Oxfam America, the Conrad Hilton Foundation
and the Rockefeller Foundation. It shows each of the 11 countries that rank higher
than the US in human development has a lower per-capita income.

Those countries score better on the health and knowledge indices that make up the
overall human development index (HDI), which is calculated each year by the United
Nations Development Programme.

And each has achieved better outcomes in areas such as infant mortality and longevity,
with less spending per head.

Japanese, for example, can expect to outlive Americans, on average, by more than
four years. In fact, citizens of Israel, Greece, Singapore, Costa Rica, South Korea
and every western European and Nordic country save one can expect to live longer
than Americans.

There are also wider differences, the report shows. The average Asian woman, for
example, lives for almost 89 years, while African-American women live until 76.
For men of the same groups, the difference is 14 years.

One of the main problems faced by the US, says the report, is that one in six Americans,
or about 47 million people, are not covered by health insurance and so have limited
access to healthcare.

As a result, the US is ranked 42nd in global life expectancy and 34th in terms of
infants surviving to age one. The US infant mortality rate is on a par with that
of Croatia, Cuba, Estonia and Poland. If the US could match top-ranked Sweden, about
20,000 more American babies a year would live to their first birthday.

“Human development is concerned with what I take to be the basic development
idea: namely, advancing the richness of human life, rather than the richness of
the economy in which human beings live, which is only a part of it,” said the
Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen, who developed the HDI in 1990.

“We get in this report … an evaluation of what the limitations of human development
are in the US but also … how the relative place of America has been slipping in
comparison with other countries over recent years.”

The US has a higher percentage of children living in poverty than any of the world’s
richest countries.

In fact, the report shows that 15% of American children – 10.7 million – live in
families with incomes of less than $1,500 per month.

It also reveals 14% of the population – some 40 million Americans – lack the literacy
skills to perform simple, everyday tasks such as understanding newspaper articles
and instruction manuals.

And while in much of Europe, Canada, Japan and Russia, levels of enrolment of three
and four-year-olds in pre-school are running at about 75%, in the US it is little
more than 50%.

The report not only highlights the differences between the US and other countries,
it also picks up on the huge discrepancies between states, the country’s 436
congressional districts and between ethnic groups.

“The Measure of America reveals huge gaps among some groups in our country
to access opportunity and reach their potential,” said the report’s co-author,
Sarah Burd-Sharps. “Some Americans are living anywhere from 30 to 50 years
behind others when it comes to issues we all care about: health, education and standard
of living.

“For example, the state human development index shows that people in last-ranked
Mississippi are living 30 years behind those in first-ranked Connecticut.”

Inequality remains stark. The richest fifth of Americans earn on average $168,170
a year, almost 15 times the average of the lowest fifth, who make do with $11,352.

The US is far behind many other countries in the support given to working families,
particularly in terms of family leave, sick leave and childcare. The country has
no federally mandated maternity leave.

The US also ranks first among the 30 rich countries of the Organisation of Economic
Cooperation and Development in terms of the number of people in prison, both in
absolute terms and as a percentage of the total population.

It has 5% of the world’s people but 24% of its prisoners.

I have received several emails concerning the Golden Leaf decision to fund the consortium’s PR campaign. The following letters were written to the Golden Leaf Foundation prior to their decision. I am sure there are many more out there but these are a couple I have recevied. I withheld personal information from the emails.

Dear Golden Leaf Board of Directors,

I am writing today to encourage your organization to consider denying any request for funding or grants in support of the NC Consortium’s campaign supporting their lobbying effort to bring the National Bio-Agro Defense Facility (NBAF)to our state and Butner, NC.  The time for promoting public support for the NBAF has passed specifically with only 42 days left for public comment from the community it is very disingenuous for the consortium to be seeking funding and aid to educate the public.  The NC Consortium has had the better part of 2 years to carry out these activities and provide a unbiased factual campaign in support of this BAD IDEA and they have chosen to sculk around our community holding veiled public meetings with special interest groups which were often designed to limit public involvement.  In their efforts they have invested primarily in ensuring that only a scripted message is conveyed to the public which at best has been long refruted as half truths and analogies that are not comparable to the actualities of the intended mission of the lab. 

I ask that you educate yourselves prior to making this type of granting request and stand by your charter; to fund projects that promote sustainable jobs and economic growth in the counties that have been disenfranchised by the loss of the tobacco industry.  Neither of which is promised by the DHS’s DEIS report.  Citing of this lab in Butner will only, bring transient temporary jobs fielded by contracted construction companies and will only create a bubble of laborers at the end of the construction phases.  As stated in the DEIS the actual jobs projection is reduced to a mere 63 jobs for highly trained and vetted persons whom more than likely will be recruited from other facilities of similar mission from around the country not North Carolina. 

I ask that you take serious consideration of the Government Accountability Office’s reports and the US House Commerce and Energy Committee’s investigation of DHS’s scoping process and risk analysis before you decide to throw good money  that should only be allocated for use as originally intended; to support NC communities NOT the non-taxpaying US DHS.  Also, consider the line of applicants that have applied to your foundation who are truly deserving of your support who are looking for innovative ways to contribute to the quality of life in NC and to Granville county and ultimately adding to the tax base and sustainable jobs market.

Respectfully, PLEASE DO NOT SUPPORT this request.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

**** ********

*** * East C St.

Butner, NC 27509

Letter Number Two

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To be sure by now the Golden Leaf Foundation maybe rethinking funding the NBAF PR campaign if they are not they should be. This lab issue from the start has been “David versus Goliath” and the Golden Leaf/NBAF backers just gave David a reason to stand a little taller.

From the very beginning of this debate the odds have been stacked against GNAT, who let me reiterate is the community. The consortium made their biggest mistake when they didn’t hold public meetings allowing the citizens to decide if they wanted to live in a “sacrifice zone“, instead they shoved this idea down the throats of the residents and some of us said HELL NO. Make no mistake, from someone who lives in Butner this process has been anything but impartial.

I find it amusing that the cortsortium can’t find the cash between its supporters to fund their own website. No, they are too busy getting paid for their time. GNAT is completely grass-roots and they have a factually complete website that consist of Government reports, white papers and NBAF coverage that is not fear-mongering unless you fear the facts as it relates to the recent boom in bio-containment facilities.

I have said from day one if NC state and NC Bio Tech think the NBAF is such a great idea they already own more than 900 plus acres on the state campus and RTP put it there. But I know all of you reading this understand why that idea didn’t fly don’t you? In Raleigh they would have had to hold public meetings and we both know that would have put the brakes on this project. Debate over, period.

The N&O ran an editorial today that, well in a nut shell tells it like it is here are a few excerpts. Go to the N&O to read the complete editorial.

To be sure, “overcome resistance” isn’t how lab backers would put it. They say they need to counter scare tactics and misinformation from the other side. And they have a point — some lab opponents have indeed engaged in fear-mongering, if that means emphasizing costly but unlikely worst-case scenarios in case of accidents at the proposed lab.

But exploring the cons as well as the pros is entirely justified for a facility that will specialize in exotic large-animal diseases. The arguments must remain rational, but the burden of proof lies with the lab’s proponents.

A glance at sample announcements from the N.C. Consortium for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, submitted to Golden LEAF in support of the grant application, suggests the proponents’ approach. It is hardly impartial. After intoning that “citizens deserve accurate information” the announcements clearly accentuate the positive. They mention no negatives.

That may be factual in a sense, but it’s also classic PR spin. The implicit message is that if only folks knew the facts, they’d be on our side. The opponents, however, have their own arguments and points of emphasis. They just won’t be getting $262,000 in public funds to make them.

Adding insult to injury, the side Golden LEAF has chosen — that of institutional backers of the lab, many of them in Raleigh and RTP — seems to be widely opposed by ordinary Granville residents. Helping residents of tobacco-growing counties such as Granville was why the foundation was formed, with money from the national tobacco settlement.

No doubt Golden LEAF has done good work in places such as Granville and will do more in the future. Right now, however, it shouldn’t be taking sides. If for some reason the foundation felt a burning need to disseminate fact-based information, pro and con, it might have done so itself.

If, in the end, Granville County wants the lab and wins it, Golden LEAF could appropriately step in to help make sure the community benefits. Until then, it should have butted out.

Well, well the consortium needs more cash for their NBAF PR campaign? I wondered why Capstrat hadn’t visited me recently. No worries however now they are working with a new firm called French West Vaughan. Wow, they blew through that 3 million DHS gave them awfully quick. What is more amazing however is they are paying themselves to write op-eds, “meet with news editors and reporters, taking out advertisements in local and area newspapers and having speakers available to talk to business and civic groups”.

The News & Observer reported on Tuesday that the Golden Leaf Foundation awarded $262,000 (and some change) to the consortium for a “impartial and factual education campaign”. Ain’t special interest grand, now we have a foundation funded by a settlement from a public health nightmare (smoking) funding a public health nightmare. What is wrong with these people?

If the consortium calls what they have been running in the local Butner-Creedmoor News educational, I am scared the see what they call “factual and impartial”. Besides, the consortium has not spent one red dime being impartial to the residents of Butner. If it wasn’t for GNAT, who hosted a forum in January of this year, the citizens of Butner would know very little if anything factual about the NBAF.

Go to nobio.org, sign their petition, donate money and help GNAT help us, STOP THE NBAF!!!!!!!! God knows the Golden Leaf Foundation ain’t giving them any money, GNAT members are the community.

Here’s the latest from the Herald Sun and the Daily Dispatch in Henderson.

Opponents of bio lab befuddled by grant
BY WILLIAM F. WEST :

The [Henderson] Daily Dispatch /The Herald-Sun
Jul 16, 2008

BUTNER — A staunch opponent of the proposed National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility is befuddled by the Golden LEAF Foundation awarding more than $262,000 to the statewide pro-NBAF group seeking to get the germ-fighting laboratory located at Butner.
“I think, unfortunately, Golden LEAF has been a victim of the same snow job that the consortium has been practicing as it went to speak to elected officials at the outset,” Kathryn Spann argued Tuesday.

The consortium maintains the money will be used for an informational campaign, which will include a public relations firm.

Spann, an attorney, is on the steering committee of the Granville Non-Violent Action Team (GNAT), which argues the NBAF would pose environmental and health hazards.

And Spann is disputing state data about the NBAF’s economic impact.

The nonprofit Golden LEAF Foundation is based in Rocky Mount. It was created in 1999 to receive half the funds coming to North Carolina from the tobacco master settlement agreement that resulted from lawsuits against cigarette manufacturers over smoking-related diseases.

The foundation’s purpose is help make the transition from a tobacco-dependent economy through grants and investments that will positively affect the long-term advancement of the Tar Heel State.

Spann said she hopes she and fellow GNAT backers can persuade Golden LEAF to reconsider before dispersing the funds to the pro-NBAF group of private and public experts.

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Source: The Charlotte Observer/AP
Environmental group to sue Duke Energy

An environmental group plans to ask a federal judge to stop Duke Energy Corp. from building a new coal-fired generator already under construction in western North Carolina.

 Southern Environmental Law Center spokeswoman Melinda Pierson said her group will file the complaint Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Asheville. The lawsuit claims Duke has violated the federal Clean Air Act by not using the best available technology to capture mercury and other hazardous pollutants that will be discharged from the plant.

They want construction stopped until the case is resolved.

Duke is building a $2.4 billion, 800-megawatt unit at its Cliffside Steam Station outside Charlotte. Construction began in January.

The state recently asked Duke to provide more details about its plan to control mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from the generator.


Source: By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor The Independent

The world trade in ivory, banned 19 years ago to save the African elephant from extinction, is about to take off again, with the emergence of China as a major ivory buyer.

 

Alarmed conservationists are warning of a new wave of elephant killing across both Africa and Asia if China is allowed to become a legal importer, as looks likely at a meeting in Geneva next week.

The unleashing of a massive Chinese demand for ivory, in the form of trinkets, name seals, expensive carvings and polished ivory tusks, is likely to give an enormous boost to the illegal trade, which is entirely poaching-based, conservationists say.

“This is going to mean a return to the bad old days where elephants are being shot into extinction,” said Allan Thornton, of the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), the group which provided much of the evidence on which the original ivory ban was based in 1989.

The ban succeeded in halting a headlong decline of African elephants at the hands of poachers, especially in east African countries such as Kenya. Elephant numbers across the continent were estimated to have crashed from 1.3 million in 1980 to 625,000 in 1989.

It was intended to be complete and worldwide but in 1997 four southern Africa countries: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, persuaded other Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) member states to let them opt out, on the basis that their elephant populations were stable or increasing, and they would only sell tusks of elephants that had died naturally or been shot as rogues. Their campaign was led by Zimbabwe’s President, Robert Mugabe.

As a result, Cites sanctioned an auction of just under 50 tonnes of ivory from the four countries in 1999, but opened it only to “approved buyers” – countries whose enforcement provisions against illegal trading were deemed sufficiently rigorous. Japan was the only country approved.

Now, however, a second auction of 108 tonnes from the same four countries is being planned, and the Chinese, who were excluded from the first sale, are seeking “approved buyer” status, claiming they are much more active now in combating illegal trading activities.

Their application will be heard at the Geneva meeting next week of the Cites Standing Committee, which will also consider allowing the second ivory auction. Both proposals are likely to get the green light as the Cites secretariat is making a favourable recommendation in each case.

John Sellar, Cites’ senior anti-smuggling and fraud official, said yesterday that China had made considerable improvements to its enforcement regime against illicit trading, and the country’s score out of 100 for efficiency on the organisation’s complex Elephant Trade Information System had risen from 5.6 in 2002 to 63 today. The recommendation would be that they should become an official ivory trading partner, said Mr Sellar.

Environmentalists fiercely dispute the effectiveness of China’s crackdown and raise the larger issue of the huge ivory demand that is about to be unleashed from an increasingly affluent country with 10 times the population of Japan.

“In a country of 1.3 billion people, demand for ivory from just a fraction of one per cent of the population is colossal,” said Allan Thornton of the EIA. “If these new legal imports go ahead, they will provide a gigantic cover for illegal ivory to be sucked in.”

He went on: “Right now across central Africa, elephant populations are being destroyed in countries like Chad, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to satisfy illegal demand in countries such as China. The current estimate is that 23,000 African elephants are killed a year by poachers – which is totally unsustainable. If China becomes an approved trading partner, these figures will skyrocket.”

Last year the EIA produced a detailed report on what it said was China’s failure to address its illegal ivory trade. Mr Thornton said last night: “There is no evidence that the Chinese government has broken up or taken effective action against criminal syndicates behind the illegal flow of ivory into the country.”

The EIA released an internal Chinese government document yesterday which, it said, showed that, over 12 years, officials had lost track of 121 tonnes of ivory from the country’s official stockpile – equivalent to the tusks of 11,000 elephants. “We have not been able to account for the shortfall through the sale of legal ivory by the selected selling sites,” Chinese officials reported in the document to Cites in 2003. “This suggests a large amount of illegal sale of the ivory stockpile has taken place.”

Asked about the document, officials from China’s Foreign Ministry said they had no information on the subject.

The question of China’s trading partner status comes up at the standing committee meeting on Tuesday afternoon. Britain has a representative on the committee, Trevor Salmon, a senior civil servant who is head of the Cites policy unit at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Asked how Britain would vote on the sale and on the Chinese application, a Defra spokeswoman said: “The UK will only support this limited sale if all internationally agreed conditions – including that the proceeds of the sale are used exclusively for elephant and community conservation and development programmes within or adjacent to the elephant range – have been met.

“Before allowing China to become a trading partner in a one-off sale of stockpiled ivory, the Cites Standing Committee will consider all evidence on measures China has in place to prevent this sale from having a negative impact on the illegal killing of elephants.

“Decisions are taken based on information about the sustainability of elephant populations in the countries and the security of their existing stockpiles of legally acquired ivory.”

H/T Popi & Tom

An aside note: Consider the following while reading this piece. Less than 1 percent of slaughtered cows are currently tested for Mad Cow disease is the US. The Bush Administration via Federal appeals court in May 08, has tried to stop meatpackers from further testing all their animals for Mad Cow disease. Their rationale for the appeal thus less testing for Mad Cow Disease? The USDA argues that more widespread testing does not guarantee food safety and could result in a false positive that scares consumers. For your consideration: 

Source: Gavan McCormack – Foreign Policy In Focus   

 Just months after taking office, South Korean President Lee Myung Bak’s popularity plunged below 20%. People poured into the streets in unprecedented numbers – in the largest demonstrations in Korean history – to protest against him and his government. His cabinet offered to resign en masse, and he had to sack all seven members of the Blue House senior secretariat. He was forced to abandon key policies such as his plan to build a canal across the full length of the country. And he felt compelled to apologize, twice, for his policy blunders and “lack of communication skills.”

Having staked much on his visit to Washington in April, and having pledged to reinvigorate and upgrade the alliance with the United States, Lee exposed it instead to greater risk than his predecessor and was reduced to pleading with Washington to help him find a way out of his domestic problems. Instead of advancing his goal of a Free Trade Agreement, he stirred the opposition, including labor and religious groups, to anger, thus making his goal less, rather than more likely. By June, the lion of December had become, according to word on the street in Seoul, an “early duck” (an early bird turned lame duck).

And it all began with beef.

Moos and Boos

The connection between Mad Cow disease in animals and the brain-wasting Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans has been known since around 2000. Three cattle in the United States have tested positive for Mad Cow disease since 2003. South Korea first banned imports at that time, as did many countries. When the second case, in 2005, was covered up by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for seven months before being made public, consumer confidence further sank. Japan took to testing every single animal, to the great annoyance of the U.S. government. Korea, under intense U.S. pressure, adopted a “voluntary” system of restriction that banned the import of meat from animals older than 30 months as well as animal parts such as bones and internal organs. However, the first three shipments that followed these new restrictions supposedly contained these parts, so the “voluntary” system was plainly unsatisfactory.  

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Note to the NBAF cheerleaders: With the incident record the CDC is building, it is time you back off the CDC  comparison. Most people didn’t fall for the “look how safe the CDC is” comparison the first time but with this latest in a string of incidents a case is being build for just how risky these labs are. Moreover, the comparison is moot, since the NBAF is the first of its kind there is no precedent for comparison. These incidents at the CDC prove there is just cause to be concerned about these facilities operations. Thankfully, Atlanta has media with some backbone.

A laboratory building that contains a deadly strain of avian flu and other germs is among four that lost power for more than an hour Friday when a backup generator system failed again at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The outage affected air flow systems in labs that help contain such germs as the H5N1 flu virus, which some experts fear could cause a pandemic. But there were no exposures to infectious agents, and neither workers nor the public were at any risk, said CDC spokesman Tom Skinner.

The outage is the latest in a string of mechanical and construction incidents at labs on the agency’s Clifton Road campus, many in new buildings that are part of a $1 billion construction plan.

Other notible incidents according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution are as follows

May 18, 2007: Blasting of granite by a CDC construction contractor sent rock flying, shattering two exterior windows in Building 15, including one on a floor 150 feet away from a maximum-containment Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) lab that work with deadly germs such as Ebola. Rocks also damaged windows at Building 17, about 50 feet away from a high-containment Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) lab.

May 25, 2007: Nine workers were tested for possible exposure to Q fever, a bioterror agent, after a ventilation system in Building 18 malfunctioned and pulled potentially contaminated air into a “clean” corridor. Nobody was infected. Duct tape now seals the Q fever BSL-3 lab door in what CDC says is an added precaution until a new door is installed.

June 15, 2007: A lightning strike knocked out power for an hour at Building 18; backup generators did not come on. Nearby construction work had damaged a key component of the building’s grounding system.

Dec. 8, 2007: During a planned evacuation drill of Building 18’s labs that was designed to simulate a power outage, emergency lights initially came on but failed after 10 minutes when a technician inadvertently shut off a back-up power system, according to a CDC after-action report obtained by the AJC.

Dec. 18, 2007: Building 18 had a real evacuation after its new medical waste incinerator was started for a test and vented smoke into the high-containment lab area. Excessive heat caused the incinerator’s bypass stack to tear away from its anchor bolts, internal records show.

Friday: A bird caused a Georgia Power transformer to fail, knocking out power to part of the CDC campus for about 1 hour 15 minutes. Then CDC’s backup generators failed to keep power on at four buildings: the infectious disease lab Building 17, and offices in Buildings 1, 3.

Anyone want to put money on the fact this story never makes it to mainstream NC news? 

Over the past two weeks I have like many others been reading over the much anticipated Draft Environment Impact Statement (DEIS) just released concerning the NBAF. If you are from Southern Granville county and haven’t read the report it is full of dirty little surprises. Here are just a few comprehensive things the writers and agencies of the report either forget to include, just plain got it wrong or cannot think for one minute the locals will let it happen.

The DEIS has traffic on Old Highway 75 as roughly 2.2 cars per day. Old Highway 75 near where the proposed facility will be located is home to one of the largest Federal prison complexes in the US, The Butner Federal Correctional Complex and yet only 2.2 cars per day travel this road per day (DEIS 2-44, Table 2.5.1-2)  The sites are approx. 2 miles apart (3000 feet southeast from the NBAF). An aside note; Omar Abdel-Rahman, # 34892-054, the Islamist terrorist, nicknamed “The Blind Sheik”; involved in World Trade Center bombing planning in 1993, he’s there also. The Federal Prison complex has a combined prisoner population of 4287. I couldn’t find the actual employee count but I believe it is safe to say more than 2.2 cars travel Highway 75 daily, don’t you?

In all of its 1005 pages it mentions the most direct route to the site from I-85 which is Central Avenue, “TWICE” (DEIS – 3.11.7.1.1) but not in terms of increased traffic, affected environment, air quality or cumulative impacts. It only mentions Central Ave.( SR1103) and its proximity the the facility. It’s as if one would teleport from where ever and drop onto old 75. Maybe that’s some of the new technology DHS will be using.

Aerial spraying of pesticides in the Upper Neuse Watershed to prevent Rift Valley Fever? Who the hell thought that was a good idea? (Table 2.5.1-2, Page 2-42 and Paragraph 3 last sentence page 3-218 8) Mayor Meeker are you listening? It is comforting to note that; 

More recently, RVF outbreaks have occurred in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Tanzania, although, to date, no cases in animals or humans have been reported in North America or Europe.

So let’s bring RVF to North American and see what happens once it reaches our very abundant mosquito population and don’t forget the ticks and black flies. Read Page D-9 for more.

The plans for the facility are in the “conceptual phase” and yet they have concluded that the facility itself is foolproof. No risk assessment in provided for future development at the site although it is mentioned.

Waste management is very vague, we still don’t know if they will use incinerators or create cow smoothies that’s gross I know but that is what one of the options are using alkaline hydrolysis. Consider this from Table 2.5.1.2 Pages 2-33 and 3-57. 

The proposed pathological waste disposal method for the NBAF has not been determined at this time and would be an influencing factor on facility air emissions. Three disposal methods are being considered: incineration fueled by natural gas and fitted with afterburner chambers that reduce intermediate gases and particulate matter; alkaline hydrolysis using sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide to convert biological material into a sterile aqueous solution; or rendering by converting the carcasses into carcass meal (solids), melted fat, and water using a steam-jacketed pressure vessel. Refer to Section 3.13 for additional waste disposal information. If one of the action alternatives is selected and the disposal method is determined, a state authorization would be required prior to construction and operation of that alternative.

Air quality effects would occur with construction and operation of the NBAF. Air emissions from construction activities would include construction traffic and equipment. Operation of the NBAF would result in air emissions from boilers, emergency generators, and traffic from employees and deliveries. Additional air emissions would occur from carcass and pathologic waste treatment and may include incineration, alkaline hydrolysis, or rendering. Preliminary assessments based on conservative estimates of air emissions indicate that operation of the NBAF would not likely affect regional air quality, although air permit requirements may require additional modeling once the final disposal methodology has been selected.😯

Why exactly are we bringing the Foot-and-Mouth virus on to the mainland? When it is stated that vaccines only work in the short-term. Consider this from D-6

One possible prevention measure is vaccination. However, vaccination provides immunity to the virus for only 6 months in most cases (and it is not certain if this immunity is complete). One reason for this is the virus’s high variability as it continually evolves and mutates, and there is large variation between serotypes. Therefore, vaccines must be strain specific. So it is costly to vaccinate a large number of animals twice a year. Vaccination also has trade implications. New vaccines in development may eliminate the trade barriers and reduce the number of animals needing slaughter, but those developments are not available at the time of this writing.

 As of this writing this is a good idea, How? I wish I could say I was making this up but I’m not that clever. This is straight out of a Steven King movie “Critters from the NBAF” The Final Sacrifice. If you haven’t read the report you should and every single page. More to come……..

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