Hahaha! Barack Obama made a funny joke in his State of the Union speech last night about how dumb the EPA was for forcing dairy farmers to have containment plans spelling out what to do if their massive milk facilities spring a leak. Stupid EPA! It's just "spilt milk," amirite? Milk is good for you, and you shouldn't cry when you spill it! Except when you spill it in massive amounts. Then it kills fish and threatens the water supply.
Here is a list of milk spills that caused or threatened environmental damage in the last two decades:
- October 1994: Massachusetts Tanker Crash Closes Road
By 11a.m., the Braintree hazardous waste removal company Clean Harbors had helped mop up the mess and drain the last 2,000 gallons in the wrecked truck. State officials said there was no hazardous waste threat - as long as the milk never got into storm drains, where it could have spurred algae growth. —Boston Herald
- December 1995: Environmental Experts Called in After 125-Gallon Spill in Salisbury, England
One thousand pints of milk flooded a garden yesterday after a driver's float crashed through a hedge and tumbled down a bank.
Pollution experts were called in after rivers authority workers battled to stop the milk flowing into a stream at Salisbury, Wilts. —Mail on Sunday
- December 1998: Minnesota Milk Spills Increase Fishkills
But the bulk of fish have died at the hands of farmers or corporations through manure spills, chemical spills and hot water discharges. Even seemingly healthy substances can be lethal to fish. A massive milk spill in Dodge County killed thousands of fish in 1996. —Associated Press
- April 2000: 800 Gallons Leak from a Dairy Near Somerset, England
Wildlife was put at risk when 3,000 litres of milk was spilled into Galmington stream in Trull, Taunton, on Wednesday afternoon.
Ben Woodhouse of the Environment Agency said:
"The problem is that microbes in the water work on decomposing the milk, which takes the oxygen out of the water causing the fish to die. But so far we have not found any dead fish. We think that, because it is quite cold at the moment, the microbes are fairly dormant."
The milk is thought to have come from a waste lagoon at a farm. —Western Daily Press
- July 2002: 5,000 Gallons Near Staffordshire, England
Fire crews are trying to stop the spillage of a tanker-load of milk from polluting wildlife in a Staffordshire lake.
Firefighters spent the day pumping milk out into nearby fields and building dams to prevent it from flowing into the lake.
David Thomas of the Environment Agency said: "Milk is a highly polluting substance."
Some 50,000 fish are in danger if the milk enters the reservoir, which is a popular beauty spot and recreational boating lake. —BBC News
- July 2004: Milk Tanker Crash in Minnesota Causes "Disaster"
There's only one way Greg Erickson can describe what happened at the lake six years ago, it was a disaster. He says, "When we were paged out to that call, it was a call for a truck rollover. When we got to the scene it was much worse."
Six thousand gallons of milk were on the truck that day. Erickson says, "When we got there it was already flowing into the lake. We had set up booms to try to stop it, but a lot of it had gotten into the lake."
The lake was basically shutdown for a year. Erickson says, "We closed it up throughout the year for what we could control." —Keloland Television
- May 2007: Washington Dairy Fined $95,000 for Milk Leaks
Darigold failed to follow proper operating, maintenance and notification procedures during a February 2007 milk spill that discharged polluted water to the city of Lynden. The spill caused the wastewater treatment plant to malfunction, resulting in the release of polluted, mostly untreated sewage to the Nooksack River. —Washington Department of Ecology
- February 2011: New Zealand Dairy Fined $600,000 for Milk Spill
Tauranga City Council pollution prevention officer, Toby Barach, said it was not known how much of the long-life milk had escaped into the drain, which flows into the Waimapu Estuary, or what effect the contamination could have on fish life.
Mr Barach said large amounts of milk could suck oxygen from the water, killing fish life. —Bay of Plenty Times
- December 2011: Highway Closed For Seven House After Milk Tanker Crash
"Milk is a hazardous material. We also have diesel fuel mixed into that, so the combination of both of them is not good for our creeks or streams or anything getting into the ground," Sunny Smaldino with the Colorado Springs Fire Department said. —Fox 21
See, what kind of idiot would want dairy farmers to have containment plans for milk spills? For what it's worth, when the EPA exempted dairy farmers from the spill containment requirements nine months ago, the agency noted that milk production facilities are already "subject to certain...requirements that help prevent spills." As for what to do after those spills happen, though, whatever, spilt milk joke.
[Image via AP]