Butt Salad

It’s been dizzying, really, the way Republicans have let their freak flags fly after their corporate-purchased “victory” in 2010.  Under the banner of helping the “job creators” at the expense of everyone else, they  have all simultaneously  just come up with ready-made, lobbyist-vetted “plans” that range from merely venal to outright revolting, and they are proudly ramming them through from sea to shining (and soon to be turd-dotted; more on this below…) sea.  Republican policies, you see, aren’t really about anything more than sticking it to their many enemies and cashing in on it if possible; a cynical and ultimately self-defeating approach which obviously leaves a lot of collateral damage lying around.   Some of which doesn’t smell very good.  (From the St. Petersburg Times)

Every year, more than 90 companies across Florida pump the waste from about 100,000 septic tanks. Where does it all end up? State officials estimate 40 million gallons of it is treated with lime and then sprayed on farmers’ fields as fertilizer.

Yummy.  Every time I eat Florida produce, there’s a good chance Rush Limbaugh’s shit might be in it.

But the septic tank waste is a potential wellspring of disease and can lead to water pollution and toxic algae blooms. So last year, the Legislature voted to ban the practice known as “land application” starting in 2016, and in the meantime ordered state health officials to look for alternatives.

What a bunch of commies, not wanting butt gravy on their tomatoes.

This year, though, water pollution and the spread of disease are far less of a political concern, and the probusiness Legislature is poised to repeal the ban before it even takes effect.

When they say “probusiness,” these guys really mean, well, business.

The House passed HB 1479, which lifts the ban, by a vote of 89-25 on Monday despite strong opposition from environmental groups such as Audubon of Florida.

Ah, those danged tree-huggers, pooh-poohing poo poo.

During Monday’s debate, one lawmaker, Rep. Bryan Nelson, R-Apopka, urged his colleagues to repeal the ban because keeping it in place would drive up the cost of disposal, which he compared to imposing a tax on people with septic tanks. Audubon’s Eric Draper called that bizarre reasoning for rejecting a measure designed to clean up the state’s most widespread pollution problem.

If they don’t like taxes, they could always just shit in the yard, as Ayn Rand would have wanted it.

A critic of the bill, Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, pointed out that pollution from sewage waste has fouled once-pristine Wakulla Springs, creating such murky conditions that the attraction’s glass bottom boats no longer operate.

It’s true that once flushed, turds aren’t very interesting anymore, and not very appealing to tourists.

“The springs have been devastated, folks,” Pafford said.

The state Department of Health has issued permits to 92 companies to pump out septic tank waste and haul it to farms. In the Tampa Bay region, 15 are based in Hillsborough County, five in Hernando County, four in Citrus and one in Pasco.

One of the oldest is Nuckles Septic Tank Services, which operates in the shadow of the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway in Tampa. Four generations of Nuckles family members have run the company, although every year the trucks have to go farther and farther out to find farms that haven’t been converted into suburban sprawl.

OMG…  could the poop-sprayers be butting (no pun intended) heads with the sprawl-producers?  For a Republican, this creates a dilemma:  which one writes the biggest checks?

Nuckles hauls its waste to a 257-acre farm in southeastern Hillsborough, said co-owner Todd Nuckles, but some others “are taking it out of the county to Hernando and Polk.”

While spreading it on pastures may lead to pollution, he contended, “it’s a drop in the bucket by comparison” to the fertilizer and other pollutants washed into waterways by rain storms.

Maybe “bucket” wasn’t the best metaphor to use here, but most people understand that at least Miracle-Gro doesn’t come out of somebody’s ass.

Nuckles said the treatment process used on the waste prior to spraying it leaves it so odor-free “that in 30 minutes time you’d never know a truck was in the field.”

Kind of like opening a window and lighting matches.

But the state still gets complaints about it, said Gerald Briggs, chief of the bureau of onsite sewage programs for the Department of Health.

“When people see trucks going by and they see it being sprayed on the fields, there’s a negative reaction,” he said. “People have claimed they’re getting ill. … We’ve never been able to substantiate any of those claims.”

What’s wrong with people; it’s only poop.

Briggs said the department keeps a record of where those 92 haulers are spraying the septic tank waste — but the list he provided a reporter contained only the addresses of the haulers, not a location for the farms where the waste was dumped.

Everyone likes privacy when they’re taking a dump, you know.

“I didn’t realize there was a disconnect between the list and the addresses,” he said.

I’m sure not.

The debate over septic tank waste takes place as Gov. Rick Scott and legislative and business leaders across the state have been complaining about new water pollution rules being imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Once the job creators create all those jobs, they’ve gotta go someplace, after all.

10 Comments

  1. mikeinportc says:

    No wonder Florida produce has more flavor than it’s Kah-lee-fornia counterparts. ;)

  2. retzilian says:

    Human waste is used as fertilizer in other countries, most notably Japan. I always heard you weren’t supposed to use human or dog/cat waste in a garden.

    Speaking of Japan, Fukishima has fallen off the radar and things are looking quite horrific there. All west coasters (Oregon?!) should be careful about eating produce & dairy this year. No doubt some radiation has arrived.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I’m sure that if it’s composted, it would have some fertilizer value, but pumped out of a septic tank? Along with toilet paper, Draino, and everything else? Bleah.
      I read this morning that Japan still loves nukes, despite the recent unpleasantness. The government, that is, not the people.

    • 0whole1 says:

      When you’re dealing with human waste, you’re also dealing with all the meds humans take. Dunno how, if at all, the sprayers deal with that.

  3. avelna says:

    Nuckles Septic Tank Services? Seriously? Wow, nothing like advertising a criminal enterprise. I would say that they should change the name but, on second thought, they’re probably damn proud of it.

  4. dirigo says:

    A necessary ingredient for flammable soup base (or lemonade!).

    http://www.propublica.org/article/scientific-study-links-flammable-drinking-water-to-fracking

    What the frack? Fire in the hole!!!

    • cocktailhag says:

      Thank god we don’t have fracking here (yet). I also don’t think we have poop on the produce, either. I’m glad I’m not young.