Ever hear the one about the spontaneously combusting shrimp? The Ashley River was once lined with industrial factories, chemical plants, fertilizer production facilities and more, pumping hazardous chemicals and materials into the river, pluff mud and groundwater. This hazardous waste can have devastating effects on the environment, such as contaminating local shrimp and oyster populations with phosphorus, and causing them to catch fire when exposed to oxygen in the air.
This actually happened in 1992 to a shrimper whose phosphorous-contaminated crustacean haul caught fire on the Ashley River right off the proposed former Magnolia development along the upper peninsula. Talk about spicy shrimp.
While the state and nation have more safeguards against such practices in place today, these dubious-sounding tales were common decades ago, when regulations around discharging industrial waste were much more lenient. And the impact of such loose regulation is still felt today.[…]
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