Page 9A plays host to the annual acronym convention, in a piece entitled, "EPA to expand PCB tests in St. Clair Shores," which I first read as "PCP tests" and wanted to go swimming in the lake. The lede:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will expand testing in the spring in a St. Clair Shores neighborhood where PCB contamination has baffled federal, state and city officials since its discovery in 2001.For what it's worth, PCB can apparently cause cancer. Which puts it in a category with "everything" and "nothing."*
Despite spending more than $10 million on multiple cleanups, the problem persists in the 10 Mile Drain in the Bon Brae and Harper area and near the Lange and Revere canals. Colleen Moynihan, an EPA remedial project manager, said details of the additional field sampling are being worked out.
This issue has apparently baffled officials for a decade. And not just the EPA:
The EPA is working with the state Department of Natural Resources and Environment, St. Clair Shores officials, the Macomb County Drain Commission and Macomb County Health Department. Moynihan said the testing could expand outside the Bon Brae and Harper area...
...At one point in 2002, the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office and Macomb County Sheriff's Office were working to determine the source of the contamination. That year, Crime Stoppers Alliance of Michigan offered a $5,000 reward.That's eight, count em, eight government agencies trying to clean up one site for 10 years and $10 million dollars.
"We even had the FBI do extensive research to see if anybody had been dumping in the drain in the area," Hison said.
Look, this might be a terribly difficult problem to solve, and I'm sure the people involved are all hard-working and qualified. But if I went to a doctor who said he couldn't figure out my lymphoma, I'd go to another one. And if that doctor couldn't figure things out, I'd go somewhere else, until somebody fixed the problem. You don't get that choice with a government agency. If the agency you're dealing with can't figure out the problem...well, tough luck. They'll just continually "ask for your patience" and cackle with glee at more federal grants.
(*Seriously. My cancer was officially caused by "nothing;" it was a random mutation. As for "everything," well, I drink more green tea now for whatever reason (antioxidants and whatnot). One bottle I was drinking mentioned the healthy effects of Epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, in the tea. So I looked it up on Wikipedia where I came across the sentence, "This property may be responsible for anticarcinogenic however also a carcinogenic potential of the substance" under the heading: "Possible carcinogenic potential." So yeah, everything can cause cancer. And nothing can cause cancer. So good luck).