of the Gas-Eating Mushrooms!
The Institute for Humane
Studies at George Mason University
3301 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 440, Arlington, Virginia 2220
If a modern
day Jed Clampett were to come across black gold (oil, that is) bubbling
up from the ground somewhere on his property, he might be well advised
to stick a cork in the leak and go on about his business. Unlike
the good times the old Clampett had on The Beverly Hillbillies,'
our modern man named Jed would quite possibly face some monster
happened to Howard Sprouse several years ago. The cleanup costs,
that is. A buyer interested in some property that Sprouse was selling
in Washington State had the soil assessed, and it turned out to
be petroleum contaminated from a previous occupant. The EPA's answer
to this common problem was simple, in a cumbersome, regulatory sort
of way. They dug up the whole yard, sealed it tight in steel drums,
and shipped it to a dump in Oregon that specialized in holding all
sorts of potential environmental disasters. And then they shipped
in a whole new yard's worth of dirt from somewhere else to fill
the empty hole that was Howard Sprouse's yard. In Sprouse's own
words, it cost "thousands upon thousands of dollars."
Seems like kind of a roundabout way to do things, when there are
petrol-eating mushrooms lurking just around the corner.
led to a biologist's interest in bioremediation, a naturally occurring
phenomenon, though rather difficult to define. Life's celebrated
first step from the primordial swamp, for example, was made possible
by bioremediation. In fact, even the swamp itself was made possible
by it. According to Sam Nugent, Sprouse's business partner, bioremediation
is a fairly broad term. "It could mean anything," he says,
"from sterilization by hanging out your laundry to dry to the
introduction of a new bacterium." It could be, for instance,
any of various mushrooms turning petroleum into clean soil. Bioremediation,
then, is change. It is happening all the time, everywhere, on a
cellular level. So what's that got to do with a man named Jed's
oil spill, the EPA, and mushrooms?
Quite a lot,
actually. Sprouse and Nugent are currently involved in launching
The Remediators, which is neither a synth-pop band nor an early
Schwarzenegger action film. What The Remediators do is apply the
eternal concept of bioremediation to the rather current issue of
brownfields and oil contaminated lawns. And they use shrooms
to do it.
full article at ABetterEarth.org)