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Old 10-29-2013
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Re: We Killed the Pacific Ocean

I saw my first land-fill fire when I was a kid in Baltimore. The old Baltimore landfill was directly across the harbor in the Patapsco's lower reaches and was about 90 feet above the high tide line. We used to go there and shoot rats with a .22 rifle, which was legal back then and the amazing thing is you could burn the barrel out of your rifle before you could put a tiny dent in the landfill's rat population.

That landfill never harvested their methane gas emissions, and one evening it burst into a blue flame that shot 20 feet in the air and burned for a week. It was really wild. I was really amazed at the difference the gold domes at the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant have made during the past decade. There was a time when you couldn't stand to be downwind of the plant because of the methane emissions, but today, the odoriferous waft is very faint, even on a hot, humid, summer evening. The methane is now being harvested from the plant and sold to the City of Baltimore for fuel, at least that's what I was told. I thought that was pretty neat!


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