The “Santa Claus House” in North Pole, Alaska.
CREDIT: JASON ROSSITER
You would think that Santa Claus has enough on his mind this time of the year but now he has to worry about keeping his community of elves from becoming dehydrated. Hopefully he can get an incoming sled of bottled water. What you ask am I talking about? This Climate Progess article tell the sad story.
The city of North Pole, Alaska, used to have clean groundwater. But now, it’s the polar opposite.
According to a lawsuit filed by the city last week, two oil companies are responsible for polluting North Pole’s groundwater and some private drinking water wells with a mysterious chemical. The chemical, called sulfolane, leaked from an oil refinery that the lawsuit alleges was negligently operated — both by current refinery owner Flint Hills Alaska Resources, which is owned by Koch Industries, and former owner Williams Alaska Petroleum.
“The presence of sulfolane contamination in the city’s groundwater has rendered that groundwater unfit for human consumption and endangers the public health or welfare,” the lawsuit reads, according to a report in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. “Ultimately, these hazardous substances have migrated off the refinery property and have contaminated the groundwater down gradient of the refinery and within the city, including wells owned by the city and supplying drinking water to the city’s inhabitants.”
Things are getting out of hand at the North Pole. In June of 2013, I wrote a post titled North Pole Bans Fireworks. With climate change affecting all parts of the world, the Santa Claus story will have to change. How sad!