Garage Sale Toolkit
One way to clean up coal ' s act is to step up from low-grade coal to high-grade coal. What's the difference Low-grade coal has a higher ash and moisture content than high-grade coal. The low-grade coal doesn't burn as completely as the high-grade variety, and it also emits more pollutants. What if there were a way to make the low-grade coal burn like high-grade coal Wouldn't this be one way to help coal clean up its act Indeed, it would and there is one company with a proprietary solution that does just that. The company is Evergreen Energy (NYSE EEE), and the process they use to help clean up coal is called K-Fuel. Evergreen uses heat and pressure to both physically and chemically transform high-moisture, lower-Btu coal into what effectively becomes the more efficient, lower-emission, high-grade variety. The K-Fuel process removes significant amounts of mercury, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide emitted when burning low-grade coal. It also reduces the CO 2 emissions whenever you...
Until 1989, it was widely believed that the composition of gasoline could be tweaked to improve combustion but that there was no way to make it cleaner burning. Oil companies did nothing to dissuade policymakers and the public from that notion. Everyone assumed that alternative fuels would be needed to clean up the air and in a way it turned out that way.
The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) was founded in the early 1980s in response to the discovery of contamination in the ground water near high-tech manufacturing facilities in Silicon Valley. Its mission is to promote human health and protect the environment through research, advocacy, and grassroots organizing. SVTC led the effort to bring in the U.S. EPA to identify 29 Superfund sites throughout Silicon Valley for immediate clean up. More recently, it has exposed health and environmental problems caused by e-waste all over the world and has pushed for the elimination of toxic materials in electronic equipment. SVTC, in partnership with the Basel Action Network and the Computer TakeBack Campaign, maintains a list of electronics recyclers that meet its standards.
The air seems cleaner in London and New York, but what about Mexico City, Shanghai, and Calcutta As stricter environmental regulations have forced factories to clean up their acts in the wealthier nations, economic pressures have precluded (or at least slowed down) such reform in many of the less-developed parts of the world. In many places where relatively dirty sources of power, such as unprocessed coal and kerosene, are abundantly used, switching to cleaner fuels, or at least using filters, is considered too expensive a transformation to make. Unfortunately, the costs of maintaining inefficient power systems are usually not weighed against the more subtle expenses of hospitalization of segments of the population (es-
Consider a pollutant (say, carbon) with a standard annual marginal benefit and annual marginal cost of clean-up schedule, as illustrated in Fig. 1. The costs are recurrent, and marginal costs rise, because the firms adjust to a tax or permit Under these circumstances, efficient regulation would require either a carbon tax of t* dollars per ton, or a cap and trade system with c* permits issued. The total costs of this kind of incentive-based regulation would be, on an annual basis, area Y total benefits would be X + Y, while the net benefits would be X. The area Z represents residual benefits of further clean-up beyond the efficient level, which are not captured by the regulatory policy. The present value of this approach would thus be Moreover, there are two additional features here, both of which favor the clean technology investment. First, because of the carbon scarcity, the residual benefits grow over time (Z'(t) 0) in addition, as the efficient clean-up standard tightens, the...
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) was established in 1980 by Congress. CERCLA's objective was to provide a regulatory mechanism in response to threats to human health or the environment from abandoned hazardous waste sites. Passage of CERCLA was heavily influenced by events at Love Canal, New York, where toxic chemicals oozing from an abandoned hazardous waste dump forced the abandonment of homes and a public school. Under CERCLA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was given funds and the authority to clean up such sites when a responsible party could not be identified. The funds were derived from taxes on industry, particularly the oil and chemical industries, and became known as Superfund. CERCLA's major provisions establish (1) liability for hazardous waste cleanup by the generator of the waste (2) a system for EPA to rank hazardous waste sites (3) a national priorities list for the sites eligible for cleanup through Superfund...
I Polyurethane Performs better than latex but is much more difficult to work with and clean up. Use it between concrete, masonry, bricks, or on a surface that's been painted by oil-based paints or varnish. Because it has better adhesion, you may also want to use it on surfaces, such as on roof lines, where a leak could be potentially costly.
Lower prices for consumers and higher profits for the investors in transnational corporations have benefited the developed world, while cheap labour, tax breaks and lax environmental standards have put a heavy burden on developing countries. Whereas the post-industrial society has the luxury to enjoy a cleaner environment and the benefit of low-priced consumer goods, the developing countries bear the burden of air and water pollution, soil erosion and deforestation.61 In the international arena this translates into an increased pressure on the developing countries (often from well-meaning environmentalists of the developed countries) to clean up their act. From the perspective of the developing countries, this is global 'environmental imperialism', as global climate-change problems and other environmental problems are seen as the direct outcome of the resource- and energy-intensive global chain of production and consumption. In fact, if we attribute CO2 emissions to consuming...
The difference in our air quality and in oil reliance on foreign fuels should be substantial. Diesel engines are significantly more efficient than gasoline engines, but their progress in the United States was stymied because of stringent pollution standards that could not be met by then-current diesel technology. As you probably could guess, diesels of the past were not pretty. How bad were they In 1995, gasoline-powered cars outnumbered diesel-powered trucks and buses by 28 to 1, yet diesel vehicles emitted 43 percent of the smog-forming nitrogen oxides and more than two thirds of the soot particles that went into our air. Although the move to low-sulfur diesel fuel will have its most immediate effects by helping clean up the pollution emitted by big trucks and buses, it also is expected to result in a substantial increase in high-fuel-mileage diesel cars and SUVs.
It simply means that the engineering construction phase of site clean-up is completed. The Superfund Trust Fund is also financed through cost recoveries money that the EPA recovers through legal settlements with responsible parties. The EPA is authorized to compel parties responsible for creating hazardous pollution, such as waste generators, waste haulers, site owners, or site operators, to clean up the sites. If these parties cannot be found, or if a settlement cannot be reached, the Superfund program finances the cleanup. After completing a cleanup, the EPA can take action against the responsible parties to recover costs and replenish the fund. The average cost of cleanup is about 30 million, large enough to make it worthwhile for parties to pursue legal means to spread the costs among large numbers of responsible parties. Many cleanups involve dozens of parties.
Fifty years ago people didn't recognize how the dumping of chemical wastes could affect public health and the environment. Thousands of properties, like contaminated warehouses and landfills, have become abandoned waste sites. Public awareness and alarm over the huge scope of hazardous dumping in the United States motivated the government to take action. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established and tasked with investigating, identifying, and cleaning up the worst hazardous waste sites nationwide. In 1980, U.S. President Jimmy Carter signed a law called the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and established the first national hazardous waste identification and remediation program. Commonly called the Superfund Act, this law outlined regulations for disposing of hazardous waste and for cleaning up previously contaminated sites that had been abandoned. The Superfund Act is important because it is the only law that...
The confluence of the quality and environmental movements was a marriage made in heaven By the late 1980s, it had become clear that preventing pollution and other negative impacts was usually a much cheaper and more effective approach than trying to clean up the mess after it had already been made. The emergence of market-based incentives such as tradable emission permits made prevention even more appealing. Furthermore, the discipline of quality management could be easily expanded to incorporate social and environmental issues. In the early 1990s, this confluence produced a flurry of so-called environmental management system (EMS) approaches and total quality environmental management protocols, culminating in the advent of ISO 14001, the environmental equivalent of ISO 9000 for quality.
Carson's influence went far beyond the institution of better controls over the use of pesticides. It alerted the public to a basic fact that along with an array of unquestioned benefits, the industrial revolution had given rise to a new set of subtle but dangerous adverse environmental effects, many of them stemming from the adoption of fossil fuels as energy sources and as a feedstock for industrial chemicals. By the last third of the twentieth century, the side effects on human health and the environment of the use of modern synthetic chemicals as pesticides and in other applications had become subjects of mounting concern in developed countries, alongside the more obvious problems of air and water pollution. That concern helped to fuel increasing efforts to address these problems. The decade of 1969-1979 saw passage of a series of landmark laws in the United States, including the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, the...
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) established the Superfund program to pay for cleaning up highly contaminated hazardous waste sites that had been abandoned or where a sole responsible party could not be identified. Originally a 1.6 billion, five-year program, Superfund was focused initially on cleaning up leaking dumps that jeopardized groundwater. As of June 17, 2005, there were 1,242 sites on the NPL. More than nine hundred had been declared as construction completed.'' The EPA determines construction completed when all physical construction of cleanup actions are completed, all immediate threats have been addressed, and all long-term threats are under control. This does not mean that a site has met its clean-up
With cars and freeways proliferating and pollution worsening, pressure intensified in California to do something more. The first legislation requiring controls on vehicle emissions was passed in California in 1959, followed within a year by the creation of the statewide Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Board, the first of its kind, to test and certify devices to clean up California's cars. This led to the use of positive crankcase ventilation in 1961, the first automotive emission control technology ever required. A year after California's 1959 pollution law, the national government enacted the Federal Motor Vehicle Act, but it mostly supported more research on air pollution. Actual federal emission standards would take another decade.
In the case of elected officials, the time horizon for society (very long term) may be in conflict with the politician's time horizon (the next election). As a result, limiting logging to protect forests for future generations, spending public funds to clean up toxic waste sites, and taking timely action to slow climate change are examples of actions that may be in the public interest but are less likely to help with reelection.
We can take some clues from the water reclamation and water damage restoration industries regarding how concerned we need to be about different types of water. Water that is potable (drinkable) is considered clean and is generally the easiest to clean up, providing that cleaning and drying occur rapidly. Gray water is generally considered to be potentially contaminated with low levels of bacteria or organic matter and may pose health risks. Gray water can be used for landscape irrigation but should never be consumed. Black water is grossly unsanitary. According to the Institute for Inspection Cleaning Restoration Certification (IICRC), which has established the S500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration, the category of the water will degrade with time and its flow across surfaces so that clean water can become gray and gray can become black water. In the case of flowing across contaminated surfaces the category of water can change instantly (IICRC...
From the late 1990s until the present, the U.S. EPA has worked to meet the needs of communities in the U.S. most impacted by environmental justice issues. The agency has held outreach activities and workshops in addition to providing funds directly to impacted communities via grants. These include the Small Grants Program and the Community University Partnership Grant Program. Through the Small Grants Program, EPA awarded communities across the U.S. thousands of dollars to address their specific needs. In Region 9 alone, which includes California, Arizona and Hawaii, the Agency awarded 15 Small Grants to support community-based efforts. These efforts included a 20,000 award to the Haulapai Tribe's Used Oil Recycling Project in Peach Springs, AZ and another 20,000 to the Toxic Free Barrio Logan Campaign in National City, CA. These grants provided much needed funding to educate community members about environmental hazards and to help clean up toxic pollution. This community-based...
Cleaning mold off hard non-porous surfaces and performing mold remediation are two completely different things. If you have mold growing in your bathroom on the shower or bathtub tile or the fiberglass enclosure around it, you have a common situation of mold growing on a hard non-porous surface. This is not a serious situation. It merely requires routine maintenance and cleaning, not mold remediation. Studies have shown chlorine bleach is effective in cleaning bathroom tub or shower surrounds (Reynolds), as are a variety of other non-chlorine products. It's even better if there is a surfactant present to help cut through soap scum and grease. Clorox Clean-up combines chlorine bleach with a cleaning compound and is a much better choice than mixing your own concoction. It is important to always remember that mixing cleaning compounds yourself may neutralize the cleaning agent or, even worse, result in toxic fumes. Many people are hospitalized each year, and some die, from mixing...
There has been a two degree change in temp in 20M years. That doesn't scare me. However, the cost of electricity in the U.S. has accelerated by nearly 25 in the past two years, while the availability of power has become severely constrained in the Northeast and in Southern and Northern California thanks to a failure of power companies to invest in the distribution grid with the same alacrity that they have in power generation. Whatever we can do to clean up Mother Earth will benefit our children a good thing.
Industry also reacted to increased environmental regulation, because the additional costs reduced profits. Economists Daniel Faber and James O'Connor, in a 1989 article entitled The Struggle for Nature, argued that Environmental regulations added to the costs of capital but not to revenues____ P ollution abatement devices and clean-up technologies usually
This book critically assesses current mainstream policy responses to the sustainable consumption agenda, and consolidates an alternative, New Economics approach. It examines ecological citizenship at perhaps its most mundane, yet its most ubiquitous and fundamental, level the choices and actions which individuals and households make on a daily basis, in the supermarket and on the high street. It deals with changing consumption patterns, consumer behaviour and lifestyles, and how these relate to environmental and social demands for sustainability. 'Sustainable consumption' has become a core policy objective of the new millennium in national and international arenas, despite the fact that its precise definition is as elusive as that of its companion on the environmental agenda, sustainable development. Current patterns of consumption are, quite clearly, unjust and unsustainable the extent and nature of the transformation required is hotly debated, reflecting as it does competing...
Under the terms of these agreements, oil companies voluntarily accepted strict liability for pollution damage and the cost of remedial measures. However, much of the public attention to oil companies was focused on marine pollution at the time. With the general rise in environmental awareness around the world since the 1970s, the quantity and scope of voluntary environmental initiatives have greatly increased, and the environmental agenda has widened to include broader issues such as climate change and biodiversity.
If there isn't enough biomass, if the residues can't be stored without exploding or composting, if the oil to transport low-density residues to biorefineries or deliver the final product is too great, if no cheap enzymes or microbes are found to break down lignocellulose in wildly varying feedstocks, if the energy to clean up toxic by-products is too expensive, or if organisms capable of tolerating high ethanol concentrations aren't found - if these and other barriers58 can't be overcome, then cellulosic fuels are not going to happen.
Frankly, we do not know whether this will always be true, but in this case, as the opportunities for further business development in the old areas of strategic dominance and operational excellence are starting to show diminishing returns, the new area of sustainability, where energy efficiency has a very important role, will prove to be the next wave of business development. Simply put, as a society we now need to clean up the mess that our efforts at global business and operational efficiency have put us in. This needs to be done rather quickly so as not to get burned by the increasingly hot climate that we seem to have caused. We also need to increase the supply of renewable energy and, in particular, of renewable fuels for transportation, since the oil supply is no longer growing and we need ever-increasing amounts of energy in order to maintain economic growth.
Drinking water or urban smog are clearly in the interests of local individuals to solve. You fix it same as you would fix the roof over your head. A clear link exists between the costs of cleaning up and the benefits. Larger-scale, regional problems tend to run into us-versus-them issues. Why should the state of Ohio sacrifice its right to burn high-sulfur coal when the costs of that consumption are paid by the folks in New York Why should power plants in Chicago pay to clean up their mercury emissions when most of the mercury emission to the atmosphere comes from China At the most difficult, worst end of this problem, global warming is the most global of issues, the most complicated type to solve.
CLEANING UP COAL'S ACT Now, I am not going to bash coal in this chapter because I think coal power has been and will remain one of the cheapest and most reliable sources of energy in the United States and other coal-rich nations. But, hey, we can all use a little cleaning up from time to time, and coal is no exception. There have been many theories and a lot of research and development money put into trying to figure out how to make coal a cleaner, greener energy source. Some of the technological solutions, while interesting from a scientific perspective, aren't yet commercially viable. There are, however, some technologies that are viable right now. Of course, there are a few publicly traded companies helping to clean up coal and there are even some that may help us clean up with green profits.
The problem that first bedeviled Rudolf Diesel in 1890 is the same problem that has prevented diesel engines from cleaning up their acts through the more than 100 years since how do you inject fuel into the combustion chamber in the proper amount to get sufficient power while at the same time promoting clean burning Frankly, up until the 1980s diesel engineers were more interested in getting power and
Generally speaking, then, the economic picture that emerges from the application of preventive measures to industrial processes is significantly different from the economic picture illustrated by Figure 21. The rising cost curve of Figure 21 may be a relatively accurate description of the cost of cleaning up emissions by add-on technologies at the end of the pipe. But preventive measures have a very different
Compensation to the local inhabitants. The first oil shale mines in Maidla district were established in 1960ies. People were told already in the beginning of the decade not to renovate their buildings anymore, as it will not be compensated. Local inhabitants were not asked about their opinion. The property of local people was expropriated (as land was already nationalized in 1940ies), only buildings and apple trees were compensated at fixed rate. People moved away, partly to the nowadays center of Maidla (threatened by present mining applications), partly to cities. In the beginning of 1990ies when privatization started, people got their historical properties back or it was compensated by the state. During the Soviet time as well as fifteen years of independence the negative effects of the mines have never been compensated to the individuals. New windows and wells, renovation of buildings, cleaning up for the contamination have always been their extra individual expenses. The...
From its auspicious beginnings at Rio, the term 'sustainable consumption' evolved through a range of international policy arenas, and its definition narrowed as it became more widely accepted as a policy goal. The more challenging ideas became marginalised as governments instead focused on politically and socially acceptable, and economically rational, tools for changing consumption patterns such as cleaning up production processes and marketing green products. The agenda has narrowed from initial possibilities of redefining prosperity and wealth and radically transforming lifestyles, to a focus on improving resource productivity and marketing 'green' or 'ethical' products such as fairly traded coffee, low-energy light bulbs, more fuel-efficient vehicles, biodegradable washing powder, and so forth. Hence sustainable consumption is implicitly defined as the consumption of more efficiently produced goods, and the 'green' and 'ethical' consumer is the driving force of market...
Aggressive tailpipe standards, led by California, played a central role in cleaning up urban air. But it also had another highly beneficial consequence. Forced to reduce emissions, automakers found that they needed a more precise means of controlling the mix of air and fuel. The old carburetor was inadequate. The solution Computers and sensors. From the first use of basic microprocessors and sensors in the late 1970s emerged entirely new engineering approaches. By the 1990s, high-tech electronics were sweeping through the auto industry. Electrical controls began to replace mechanical and hydraulic devices for braking, steering, and suspension, as well as engine control. Today's cars are akin to computers on wheels.
A classic example of eutrophication and its treatment occurred in the estuary of the River Thames, near London, England. In the 1950s the water was severely hypoxic for thirty-five kilometers (twenty-two miles) below London Bridge. After several sewage treatment plants were built, the water returned to a well-oxygenated state and migratory fish such as salmon once again ascend the river. In the case of the Mississippi River, treatment of the eutrophication is more difficult because runoff from agricultural land is the major cause of the problem, and more than half of the agricultural land in the United States drains into the Mississippi basin. Cleaning up the pollution would involve changes in farming methods on a national scale.
His interest to step into the breach. For example, if Donald Trump believed that cleaning up Central Park would raise the value of his property, it would make sense for him to contribute to keeping the park clean. If the increase in his property's value were sufficiently large, it would make sense for him to bear the entire cost. Along similar lines, in some downtown areas, local businesses have formed business improvement districts. These groups collect resources to be spent on garbage cleanup and general investments to make the neighborhood more attractive for business activity. However, the free-rider problem makes it difficult to apply such solutions on a broader scale.
As the idea that we are each responsible for cleaning up our own mess gains sway among religious and secular institutions, a powerful dynamic will be at play in the marketplace. For example, Land Rover will be including the cost of offsetting carbon emissions for the first 45,000 miles driven in the price of most of its models sold in the UK beginning in 2007. The company has clearly calculated that most of its consumers are prepared to pay a little extra in order to reduce their impact on the environment.
A historical review reveals that from its auspicious origins at Rio, the term 'sustainable consumption' has evolved through a range of international policy arenas, and its definition narrowed as it became more widely accepted as a policy goal. More challenging ideas became marginalised as governments instead focused on politically acceptable and economically rational tools for changing consumption patterns such as cleaning up production processes and marketing green products - instruments and approaches that fit well within current styles of governance. So the agenda has shrunk from initial possibilities of redefining prosperity and wealth and radically transforming lifestyles, to a focus on improving resource productivity and marketing 'green' or 'ethical' products such as fairly traded coffee, low-energy light bulbs, more fuel-efficient vehicles, biodegradable washing powder, and so forth.
From its auspicious beginnings at Rio, the sustainable consumption agenda has evolved through a range of international policy arenas (see for example OECD, 2002a), and become more widely accepted as a policy goal. The more challenging aspects of its original conception became marginalised as governments instead focused on politically and socially acceptable, and economically rational, tools for changing consumption patterns such as cleaning up production processes and marketing green products. So the policy agenda has narrowed from initial possibilities of redefining prosperity and wealth and radically transforming lifestyles, to a focus on improving resource productivity and marketing 'green' or 'ethical' products such as fairly traded coffee, low-energy light bulbs, more fuel-efficient vehicles, biodegradable washing powder, and so forth. Hence sustainable consumption is implicitly defined as the consumption of more efficiently produced goods, and the 'green' and 'ethical' consumer...
Council to ask his former professor of science to come and make a test. The professor accepts and, after having examined the water, decides that an analysis is necessary. A chemical laboratory finds the presence of pesticides in the wells. The peasants of the region, however, do not use pesticides. The laboratory contacts the authorities of the region who charge a geologist to find out where is the source of the pollution. The geologist finds that the pesticides come from the underground water shed, connected to a river which is several kilometers away. The analysis of the water of the river is positive so that more investigation is needed. Geographers are asked to study the situation of the region. After having examined the agricultural lands along the river they find out that the upstream landowners do not use pesticides either, but there is a factory of chemicals near a smaller river that flows into the main river. Hydrologists establish the probability of pollution coming from...
In addition, of course, adding on a technology will involve a cost, over and above the cost of the manufacturing process. These add-on costs may well be lower than the costs of cleaning up environmental damage after it has been created. And in a well-regulated economy, such costs might also be offset against the costs of environmental fees for disposal or penalties for emissions. On the other hand, there may be circumstances in which the additional cost will threaten the productivity of the company operating the process.
Every city has a history of past land use decisions that helps shape land use today. A city with more resources can allocate this money to preserve past good moves and to erase past mistakes. In some cases, such as cobblestone streets and Beaux Arts buildings, the heritage of the past is wonderful and should be protected. In other cases mistakes from the past live on. Boston's Big Dig is a classic example. When Boston's elevated highways were built in the 1950s, did Mayor John Hynes ever imagine that over 14 billion would eventu A prime example of the value and cost of cleaning up the past is provided by brownfields and Superfund sites. These sites are often the remains of defunct chemical companies. Their lasting legacy is contaminated land, which may potentially expose nearby residents to higher cancer risks. In many cases the polluting action was taken decades before the environmental damage was diagnosed. Such latency makes it difficult to hold the polluters...
In the United States, the Love Canal debacle near Buffalo, New York is an example of a dangerous landfill used for homes. A mixture of industrial and domestic waste was dumped into an abandon canal. After only a few years, the land was used to build homes. Toxic waste seeped from the ground and made many of the residents sick. The Government had to buy the homes and spend a large amount of money cleaning up the site. In the United States thousands of highly hazardous landfills and disposal sites have been identified. Similar hazardous sites exist through the world.
Local mobilisation is most likely to be provoked by a new development and based upon local and immediate risks or
Formed in 1978 by local women, who had no previous experience of campaigning, to pursue the issue. Their campaign, which included kidnapping a public official, eventually succeeded in forcing the closure of the school and the relocation of all residents. The publicity given to the campaign encouraged other local campaigns and Gibbs was contacted by many of these for advice, leading to the formation of the Citizens' Clearinghouse for Hazardous Wastes in 1981. The Government sued the company responsible and Congress enacted new legislation in 1981 creating the Superfund and a new agency to deal with the cleaning up of toxic waste sites.
Protecting the environment had become an expanding public-policy sector, and some even referred to the emergence of a pollution industrial complex that was trying to make money out of the cleaning up (Gellen 1970). By the time the United Nations held its Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in the summer of 1972, environmental protection was firmly placed on the international political agenda (McCormick 1991).
Exxon's main societal crisis came in 1989 with the Exxon Valdez oil spill, when a tanker called Exxon Valdez ran aground off the coast of Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of oil along hundreds of miles of coastline. Subsequently, Exxon spent some US 2.2 billion on clean-up costs and US 1.3 billion on legal settlements and penalties (Raeburn 1999). In addition, Exxon faced stakeholder pressures over its policy on climate change from the mid-1990s. However, the company challenged the scientific findings of environmental groups that criticised the company (with regard to both Exxon Valdez and climate change) and chose to combat its critics rather than to engage with them.
There are also examples of cities that have undertaken serious and substantial ecological restoration or regeneration work. The city of Leicester, for example, has taken extensive actions to restore the river corridor that runs through the city. Riverside Park, a 2,400-acre, 12-mile-long park, has been created out of what was largely derelict land in the early 1970s. Under the Leicester Ecology Strategy, and through partnerships with organizations such as British Waterways, the National Rivers Authority, and the Countryside Commission, as well as with landowners, significant resources have been directed to restoring and cleaning up the corridor. Riverside Park has now become one of the city's most important ecological and recreational resources (see Environ, 1996).
Industrial accidents and accidental releases are common occurrences in cancer alley. For instance, in 1994 Condea Vista (Conoco) located in Lake Charles reported thirty-nine chemical accidents that released 129,500 pounds of chemicals. The following year, Condea Vista reported ninety accidental chemical releases. In 1997 the company was charged with contaminating local groundwater supplies by discharging between 19 to 47 million pounds of ethylene dichloride (EDC), a suspected human carcinogen, into a local stream. In 1999 hundreds of unskilled laborers filed suit against Condea Vista, claiming they were exposed to EDC while cleaning up a spill from a leaking underground pipeline.
The creation of cheap and effective technology for the removal of toxic pollutants from water is an urgent need in modern environmental protection. The first and most important problem is modifying and changing technology, aiming towards energy savings and reaching the minimal emission levels in the hydrosphere. This problem can be resolved by an optimal combination of chemical-technological methods with biological ones (Klimenko et al., 2002). Treatment expenses depend on the degree of purification needed. There are certain purification limits determined by economy, under which the enterprise becomes non-profitable. The role of a combination of natural biodegradation processes with chemical-technical methods in this context is most important. The toxicity of pollutants entering the environment and their transformation as a result of waste-water treatment must to be taken into account during technology creation. Recent experiences indicate that the efficiency for the purification of...
This book offers a number of innovative energy policy approaches to environmental problems. It touches on measures that impose carbon and gasoline taxes, support fuel efficiency initiatives, clean up emissions from power plants, refine air quality standards, promote green energy, and decrease U.S. reliance on oil. This book offers an excellent reference for students who want to learn about effective and equitable policy initiatives for environmental issues associated with energy use in society.
Whether or where to site and license nuclear-power plants license or ban specific pesticides, fertilizers, other agricultural chemicals, food additives, industrial chemicals, and pharmaceutical products shut solid-waste landfills regulate emissions to the air and water from industrial plants and automobiles clean up existing hazardous-waste sites and many others. The recurring pattern is of a positivist analysis that demonstrates the risks from some action are quite low and of the public disagreeing, (p. 208)
The immediate environmental fallout from the WTC collapse contained asbestos and fibrous glass from the building structure mercury, dioxins, furans, and other cancer-causing toxins from the burning of fluorescent light bulbs and computer screens heavy metals such as cadmium and lead and volatile organic compounds like benzene. Federal, state, and local agencies went right to work monitoring air quality and cleaning up dust and debris from the WTC collapse, but these actions themselves have serious environmental consequences. One in four cleanup workers at Ground Zero report
- an as-yet scarcely-implemented technology that sucks most of the carbon dioxide out of the chimney-flue gases and then shoves it down a hole in the ground. Cleaning up power station emissions in this way has a significant energy cost - it would reduce the delivered electricity by about 25 . So a sustainable use of known coal reserves would deliver only about 1.6kWh(e) per day per person.
Congress passed the landmark CAA, proclaiming that it would restore urban air quality. It was no coincidence that the law was passed during a fourteen-day Washington, D.C., smog alert. The act was amended several times over the following decades, including a massive overhaul in 1990 resulting in the CAAA. Although the act has had mixed results, and many goals remain to be met, most experts credit it with making great strides toward cleaning up the air.
Operations to take corrective action to clean up the waste they have released into the environment. The RCRA imposes design and maintenance standards for waste disposal facilities, such as the installation of liners to prevent waste from migrating into groundwater. Land disposal facilities in operation after November 1980 are regulated under the act and are required to meet RCRA standards or close. Owners of facilities that ceased operation prior to November 1980 are required to clean up any hazardous waste threats their facilities still pose. Abandoned sites and those that owners cannot afford to clean up under the RCRA are usually referred to the national Superfund program.
A whole range of private-sector companies now see emissions credits as a growth market. For investment banks, the attraction of another big trading opportunity is obvious. But many of them are going further, actually initiating, financing, and managing projects to retrofit Indian factories, clean up Russian pipelines, and plant trees in Indonesia. This kind of merchant banking generates a river of fees that culminate (it is hoped) in trading profits and capital gains when the projects come to fruition and are sold. Each player is approaching the market in its own way In 2007, Morgan Stanley bought 38 percent of MGM International, a Florida-based company that invests in emissions reduction projects. Credit Suisse bought 10 percent of Ireland-based EcoSecurities Group and said it may lend that company a billion euros for pollution investments. London-based hedge fund Man Group raised 382 million for a fund specializing in greenhouse gases at Chinese coal plants. Utah-based Blue Source...
Psychologists have tried to determine why people litter, and many organized attempts have been made to decrease the incidence of this type of behavior (Finnie, 1973 Huffman, Grossnickle, Cope, & Huffman, 1995 Krauss, Freed-man, & Whitcup, 1978 Robinson, 1976). Why people litter is not entirely clear, but apparently the perceived acceptability of littering by peers plays some role inasmuch as people are more likely to litter in an already littered area than in a clean one (Cialdini, Kallgren, & Reno, 1991 Krauss, Freedman, & Whitcup, 1978 Reiter & Samuel, 1980). Numerous publicity campaigns have been mounted by states and municipalities to increase public awareness of the problem, discourage littering, and promote clean-up activities. The Adopt-a-Highway program, first implemented in Texas, is now operating in a majority of the states of the United States. In this program, small citizen groups agree to pick up litter along a specified stretch of roadway several times a year.
Money to the states to help develop groundwater programs. The Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 (SDWA PL 93-523) and the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 (PL 104-182) require communities to test their water to make sure it is safe and help communities finance projects needed to comply with SDWA regulations. The 1976 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act includes many programs designed to clean up hazardous waste, landfills, and underground storage tanks. New storage tanks must be made of strong plastics that will not rust or leak contaminants into the water table.
Improper disposal of industrial wastes can be seen as one way of charging part of the real cost of the products we use today to future generations. Peterson (1991) put it this way The dumping of hazardous wastes over past decades permitted the selling in the marketplace of better things for better living at lower costs. But now it appears that it will take fifty years and hundreds of billions of dollars, charged to future production and future taxpayers, to clean up the inherited mess (p. 192).
A second measure is the extent to which the most important environmental functions are centralized in the national environmental agency or ministry. For example, the U.S. EPA's mandate includes regulation of air quality, water quality and protection, disposal of hazardous wastes, regulation of chemicals (including pesticides and radioactive wastes), as well as noise regulation. Yet some of these regulatory areas are shared with other departments for instance, the disposal of hazardous wastes from military installations is primarily the responsibility of the U.S. Department of Defense, which has responsibility for clean-up of hazardous wastes on Formerly-Used Defense Sites (FUDS). In a number of countries, the national environmental ministry shares functions with as many as eight or nine different agencies, which is the case for the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) of China.6
It is not too difficult to see where this perception has come from. Cleaning up environmental damage caused by industrial emissions is very costly. These are the lessons from the incidents such as the one at Love Canal cited in Chapter 2. But clean-up technologies end-of-pipe filters, scrubbers and collectors are also expensive. The economic impact of these 'add-on' technologies is an 'add-on' cost over and above the basic costs of production (Plate 2). For example, the cost of fitting clean-up technology to just one 4,000 MW power station in the UK is expected to reach almost 700 million.5
Setting Sail 45 , which followed the downtown plan, presented a comprehensive plan for West Harbour area, including the Waterfront, the several neighborhoods adjacent to the harbor, and adjacent former industrial lands. The plan also focused on strategic redevelopment and streetscape improvements to strengthen the economic vitality of the street corridors and provide additional amenities to adjacent neighborhoods such as improvement of local parks and commercial areas, historic property preservation, contaminated site clean-up, relocation of heavy industrial land use, and the creation of necessary community services, such as schools, health care, libraries, and emergency services.
Clean-up methods It is now generally accepted that there is no single clean-up method appropriate for all spills. Each spill is different and careful assessment is needed before deciding on a course of action (IPIECA, 1991 IMO IPIECA, 1996). The action taken must be capable of significantly reducing the recovery time of the shore to below that which natural weathering will achieve. Sometimes cleaning may be undertaken for economic and amenity reasons rather than for the wildlife alone. Even in recent incidents, clean-up operations have sometimes increased the impacts and extended the recovery time for marine populations. These have usually been where aggressive techniques such as the use of high-pressure hot water (e.g. Exxon Valdez spill) and excessive use of dispersants (e.g. Torrey Canyon) have been used. These methods often kill off key species that have survived the initial oiling. However, even attempts to use non-aggressive mechanical clean-up methods can be damaging when used...
Money used to clean up or prevent pollution could instead be used to build schools or hospitals or any number of thousands of other things. Also, higher pollution standards drive up production costs, which in turn drives up prices, which in turn drives down standards of living, another unappealing outcome for many, especially for those at the lowest end of the income ladder. Pollution control can be very expensive, and can be increasingly expensive as we clean up more pollution. When government began enforcing environmental regulation in the 1970s, the first units of pollution were controlled at a low cost. After we cleaned up the easiest pollution, the costs of cleaning up additional units became much higher. For example, it can now cost 50,000 to prevent the discharge of a single ton of volatile organic compounds in Los Angeles. In the 1970s the same ton could be prevented at a cost of 50 cents.1 While the additional costs of pollution control increase as we control...
Required would be a careful re-examination of systems of subsidies for various activities. Many subsidies, in the terms of Norman Myers and Jennifer Kent's fine book, are perverse. 125 Myers and Kent point out in Perverse Subsidies that some subsidies may cause environmental harm but meet economic needs, such as providing electricity to low-income elderly people at less than cost. Others may do economic harm but environmental good, such as using relatively scarce capital to pay to clean up toxic waste dumps or to protect endangered species that are viewed as having no economic value. Myers and Kent define perverse subsidies as those that do harm in both regards.126
The NAP is also a way of distributing burdens within the group of activities that are included in the trading scheme. Based on the principles of the trading directive, the Swedish NAP presents different methods for distributing allowances, on the one hand, between existing and new activities and, on the other, between different sectors. The Swedish NAP takes account of the degree to which emissions are linked to the use of raw materials or certain fuels. Other relevant factors include historic emissions and competition from non-European activities. As a result, the Swedish NAP distinguishes between, for example, incineration plants within the energy production sector and the iron and steel industry. While the former only receives trading allowances equivalent to 80 per cent of their existing emissions, the latter will obtain 100 per cent. The reasons are that the iron and steel industry is highly exposed to competition and has low or no potential to decrease carbon dioxide emissions,...
Technologies employed to clean up sites include procedures that have been used for decades in treating water and air pollution also, novel techniques have been developed to clean up specific contaminants in groundwater and soil. Environmental engineers, geologists, chemists, and biologists consider alternatives to clean up sites depending on what medium is contaminated (e.g., groundwater, surface or subsurface soil, surface water, or air), and the nature of the contaminants. Community involvement is also sought as part of the decision process.
Superfund's proponents argue that the EPA must have the authority and resources to clean up hazardous waste sites. Otherwise, reluctant responsible parties will have no incentive to bear the burden of cleanup. In such cases, the protection of public health and remediation of damages to the environment would be left for taxpayers to finance. Those against Superfund reauthoriza-tion claim that many industries are responsibly handling the matter of hazardous waste sites and have invested sizable resources to clean up such locations. Furthermore, these industries have a vested interest in achieving a cost-effective cleanup in a timely manner.
Federal and California regulations require the use of technologies that have dramatically reduced the amount of smog-forming pollution and carbon monoxide coming from a vehicle's tailpipe. For gasoline vehicles, three-way catalysts, precise engine and fuel controls, and evaporative emission controls have been quite successful. More advanced versions of these technologies are in some cars and can reduce smog-forming emissions from new vehicles by a factor of ten. For diesel vehicles, two-way catalysts and engine controls have been able to reduce hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions, but nitrogen oxide and toxic particulate-matter emissions remain very high. More advanced diesel-control technologies are under development, but it is unlikely that they will be able to clean up diesel to the degree already achieved in the cleanest gasoline vehicles.
Not all oil released from land sources is quickly washed away to sea, however. Pipeline and oil-well accidents, unregulated industrial waste, and leaking underground storage tanks can all permanently contaminate large areas of soil, making them economically useless as well as dangerous to the health of organisms living in and around them. Removing or treating soil contaminated by petroleum is especially urgent because the hydrocarbons can leach into the underlying groundwater and move into human residential areas. The engineering field of bioremediation has emerged in recent decades as a response to this threat. In bioremediation, bacteria that feed on hydrocarbons and transform them into carbon dioxide can be applied to an affected area. Bioremediation has in many cases made cleaning up petroleum-contaminated sites a profitable real-estate investment for land developers.
Some major federal laws and regulations affecting the mineral industry include the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, enacted in 1980. This law requires operations to report releases of hazardous substances to the environment and requires cleanup of sites where hazardous substances are found. The Superfund program was established to locate, investigate, and clean up the worst abandoned hazardous waste sites nationwide and is currently being used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean up mineral-related contamination at numerous locations. The Federal Water Pollution Control Act, commonly referred to as the Clean Water Act, came into effect in 1977. The act requires mining operations to meet standards for surface water quality and for controlling discharges to surface water. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), enacted in 1976, regulates the generation, storage, and disposal of...
Under CERCLA and SARA, the EPA is given the authority and resources to clean up hazardous waste sites. EPA's priority is to identify responsible parties those companies that have caused contamination and require them to clean up, at their own expense, any corresponding hazardous waste sites. EPA thus reserves the use of Superfund monies for sites in which responsible parties are not identified or have claimed bankruptcy. As of 1999, responsible parties have contributed over 16 billion toward the cleanup of hazardous waste sites. The EPA follows a detailed procedure to evaluate hazardous waste sites and ranks them according to the severity of risk to human health and the environment. The national priorities list (NPL) includes those sites that are deemed eligible for cleanup by Superfund. In 1987 it listed 1,187 sites and nearly 30,000 sites remained to be assessed. As of March 2002, 1,223 sites remained on the NPL and were eligible for cleanup under Superfund. In addition, 810 sites...
While you wait find and put on some protective gear safety goggles gloves and a surgical mask This may be overkill but
Clean up the glass fragments and any powder by scooping them up with two pieces of cardboard one to push the CFL fragments and the other to collect them. Don't use a broom, brush, or vacuum cleaner those will just stir up the powder, plus you want to get the mercury out of your house completely, not leave some stuck to a broom or sitting inside the vacuum. Put the fragments and cardboard into a glass jar or plastic bag. If you use a plastic bag, double-bag the debris and make sure both bags are sealed.
Over the next few decades, nations will be experiencing fluctuations and increasing scarcity of fossil fuel supplies, and this will affect food prices. Alternative farming and food systems are required. Industrialized countries in particular have been over-consuming fossil fuels by two-thirds, and their agricultural sectors have contributed this with their heavy dependence on cheap fossil energy for mechanization and as a basis for agrochemical inputs such as pesticides and fertilizers. The corresponding industrial food systems in which these farming systems are embedded are similarly dependent on cheap fossil fuels for the ever-increasing processing and movement of foodstuffs. The low fuel prices, combined with the industry's avoidance of paying clean-up costs of environmental pollution, have enabled the maintenance of low food prices (Vandermeer et al, 1993 Odum, 1994 Tansey and Worsley, 1995 Desai and Riddlestone, 2002 Harrison, 2004). Alternative, organic agriculture shows to...
Collective action problems are prevalent in the area of environmental politics, at both the domestic and global levels. They refer to situations where the activity of the state or an international regime (or institution) is required, in order to resolve problems extending beyond the capacity and reach of single individuals, groups, or regions. Examples include addressing factors causing air pollution or toxic contamination in aquatic ecosystems. Because most of the effects accrue downwind or downstream, those who cause or contribute to the pollution have no incentives to remedy it. They are most likely to apply short-term cost-benefit analysis to the problem and conclude that it is not in their interest to absorb the costs of cleaning up their act when someone else is paying the price. Furthermore, cleaner air and water are indivisible benefits (if they exist for one they exist for everyone). Rational polluters will free-ride on the anti-pollution efforts of downwind and downstream...
From a green perspective, then, the problems of inflation and unemployment are (or will be) the products of growth and so cannot be solved by more of it. And the point above about the coming necessity of including the cost of cleaning up dirty water in economic projections also serves to illustrate green concerns about traditional ways of measuring the strength of national economies. An increase, for example, in the Gross National Product (GNP) is invariably seen as a good thing, but, as Jonathon Porritt points out, 'Many of those goods and services measured by GNP are not beneficial to people increased spending on crime, on pollution, on the many human casualties of our society increased spending because of waste or planned obsolescence increased spending because of growing bureaucracies' (Porritt, 1984a, p. 121).
For casualties killed by the non-nuclear shockwave of the explosion, bystanders covered with radioactive dust will survive and can be de-contaminated by washing off the dust and or taking a shower. Should radioactive elements from the bomb blast include iodine, strontium, and cesium, and should some dust have been inhaled or ingested, pills can be taken by victims to help eliminate these biologically unfriendly species (see Sections 5.3.2 and 6.6). Radioactive dust is easily traced with radiation monitors. Objects covered by it can be decontaminated with 'radwaste', a soapy solution that soaks up most radioisotopes. In conclusion, 'dirty bombs' can never have the same effect as a real nuclear bomb explosion with kilometers of massive destruction damage would be the same as from a non-nuclear device except it generates fear and requires a radioactivity decontamination crew to clean up.
Further inefficiencies in the food system comprise food losses, food wastage and the externalized costs of environmental and human health impacts. In terms of food losses, and if chemical preservatives are avoided, several studies show unsprayed organic produce (such as wheat, apples, potatoes) to have lower storage losses and significantly lower disease scores than unsprayed non-organic (Raupp, 1996 Granstedt and Kjellenberg, 1997 Birzele et al, 2002 Pedersen and Bertelsen, 2002 Moreira et al, 2003). This is thought to be due to natural plant toxins that suppress rots and moulds (Benbrook, 2005). In terms of wastage, industrialized nations throw away more than half the food produced each year. In the UK this discarded amount - 20 million tons annually - is valued at 40 billion and equivalent to half of the food import needs for the whole of Africa. Approximately three-quarters of wastage occurs in homes, shops, restaurants, hotels and food manufacturing. The rest is lost between the...
Clean-up efforts underway at Love Canal, May 22, 1980. See Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Environmental Movement Gibbs, Lois History Laws and Regulations, United States Mass Media Politics. ( Bettmann Corbis. Reproduced by permission.)
Environmental engineers specialize in either preventing or cleaning up pollution or environmental emergencies. Engineers who work to prevent pollution look for and help defend against potential sources of damage to the environment. Engineers who specialize in cleaning up accidents decide how to clean up environmental problems quickly and efficiently. Engineers are called upon to resolve complex problems such as oil spills, hazardous waste, and polluted lakes and wetlands.
Even after you obtain a relatively clean fuel, your manufacturing process may result in pollutants that could find their way into the atmosphere or rivers. Again, efforts to clean up these emissions will cost you money. Chemical But there may be people who are more concerned about a healthy environment than your profits. They might insist that you take whatever steps are necessary on both the inlet (fuel) side and the outlet (emissions and runoff) side to make the world a better, safer place to live. They may lobby to have laws passed that require you to clean up any emissions from your plant.
For many years, the prevailing outlook on the role of business in society could be summarized with the following words of Milton Friedman there is one and only one social responsibility of business - ( ) to increase its profits (Friedman 1970). At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the main objective of an enterprise still revolves around the bottom line. There are, however, broader aspects that businesses now have to consider. The changing context within which companies operate, shaped by environmental and globalization forces, affects the way that the role of business is perceived. Multinational companies are expected to conduct business ethically, no matter where they operate. The pressure to clean up the corporate act is largely amplified by the fast-growing socially responsible investment (SRI) movement that raises the importance of good social and environmental performance. Scrutiny of the public opinion, enhanced by ubiquitous media, forces companies to acknowledge the...
This law created a tax on industries that would be dedicated to cleaning up releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances in the environment. Over the next five years CERCLA brought in some 1.6 billion for this purpose, creating a trust fund to deal with abandoned or uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. This kind of genuine environmental progress, resulting in well-defined, well-enforced, and well-funded rules, had stemmed from a combination of grassroots activism and political pressure. Individuals were encouraged to think globally, act locally (i.e., interpret a general environment topic through actions they could take immediately, such as tackling water pollution by lobbying factory owners to clean up industrial runoff that was being dumped into a nearby river). At the same time, political leaders were eager to take action to address the dire warnings of pessimistic groups such as the Club of Rome. Harsh pollution rules, for example, often raised the operating...
Coal is the major source of electricity in the United States and China. One solution that has been proposed to clean up the pollution from coal to combat global warming is clean coal technology. Coal is the dirtiest of the fossil fuels. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), coal generates half of the electricity in the United States and will likely do so as long as it is cheap and plentiful. According to the U.S. government, clean coal technology strives to reduce the harsh environ
Biocides are chemicals that under the correct circumstances kill microorganisms. Chlorine bleach does not prevent mold growth or reliably kill the mold spores. Even if bleach did kill mold spores, which are like little invisible seeds, that doesn't make it safe. According to the EPA in their document Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings The purpose of mold remediation is to remove the mold to prevent human exposure and damage to building materials and furnishings. It is necessary to clean up mold contamination, not just to kill the mold. Dead mold is still allergenic, and some dead molds are potentially toxic. The use of a biocide, such as chlorine bleach, is not recommended as a routine practice during mold remediation (EPA).
The following arguments are what policy makers, businesses, scientists, and others often hear from industries when they are urged to take positive action to clean up industrial practices and curb global warming emissions. Their arguments are followed by the response of scientific specialists involved in the issue.
The interesting truth about toxic exposure in factories, homes, and elsewhere is that it is almost always very simple to avoid danger once the knowledge and will to do so exist. Often simply using an exhaust fan (as in the case of high radon in home basements, and in many factory situations) reduces the air levels of toxic gases and particulate aerosols to a point where there is no threat of ill effects. Respirators have become cheaper, more comfortable, and more efficient. New fabrics have enabled the production of protective clothing (the so-called moon suits worn by people cleaning up toxic-waste sites) that prevent any exposure to even the most caustic or corrosive chemicals. Suppliers of chemicals now ship material-data sheets along with their products. These sheets detail all possible safety hazards associated with the use of the chemical and the best ways to avoid exposure.
Economic bads such as pollution control equipment, police protection, and medical facilities to deal with health problems caused by pollution, are not subtracted, although as these costs increase we are worse off. Replacement of homes and other possessions that are destroyed by natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes are added to GDP. Similarly, the production of cleaning materials and the salaries paid to clean up workers from the Exxon Valdez oil spill were added to GDP.
Many of the advantages of the treatment of wastewater with oxygen and ozone apply to the clean up of rivers and lakes. Oxygen bubbled into the water will increase the rate of aerobic purification by the normal natural process. 236 Placement of oxygen bubblers at appropriate locations will clean the water and provide oxygen for the natural population of fish. Long-term oxygenation of lakes and rivers will slowly oxidize materials deposited in the silt on the bottom. Ultimately, oxygenation can return the lake or river to a near pristine state.
Historically diesel engines were never designed to reduce emissions or pollution. They were built for power, and they were very good at that. Most large trucks on the road, and most heavy construction machinery, operate with diesel engines. Now that the emphasis on green has grown into an entire industry, diesel engines are being redesigned with new criteria (lower emissions and better performance), and they've been very successful. The following technologies have helped to clean up diesel's act
In December 1997 delegates from 166 countries met in Kyoto, Japan, at the UN Climate Change Conference to negotiate actions to reduce global warming. Some developed nations, including the United States, wanted to require all countries to reduce their emissions. Developing countries, however, felt the industrialized nations had caused, and were still causing, most global warming and therefore should bear the brunt of economic sacrifices to clean up the environment. Even within the industrialized community, the European Union criticized the United States for lagging behind in reducing emissions, as it had previously pledged.
We have emphasized throughout this study the correlation between level of economic development and environmental protection. Nations with a per capita GDP of less than 730 a year (or 2 day) will not have sufficient resources to clean up toxic wastes, polluted air, waters, and land. Such countries may lack even an integrated transportation and communications infrastructure to connect the population, and their extractive (tax collection)
CLEANING UP A LEGACY As one of the forerunners of both nuclear power and nuclear arms, the UK has a historical legacy of radioactive plant and materials that need to be cleaned up. Much of this is the responsibility of British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL). In order to effect the clean-up process, the company constructed - at enormous expense - a new plant to deal with the legacy. The new plant was constructed and went into operation. However, as with any clean-up operation, there must be some residues and, in this case, one was an element called Technetium 99. With the full authorisation of the regulatory authorities, minute quantities of this were released into the sea suspended in water. The risks were - and are still - considered negligible. Needless to say, BNFL got very little credit for attempting what was, in effect, a fairly major environmental clean-up programme. The intent of what you do in an issue is immaterial, it is the end result that matters.
Until the mid-1990s, the catalytic converters in cars driven in the United States increased emissions of nitrogen oxides from the car. Since then, the catalyst in the converters has been changed and emissions of nitrogenous gases have been halted. The nitrogenous compounds are converted to nitrogen and water, Under ideal conditions, the converters can reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 95 percent.11 However, catalytic converters can only clean up vehicle exhausts if the engine is warmed up, and many trips taken by walk-avoiding Americans are too short or involve lots of stopping and starting, so the engine does not get hot enough for the catalytic converter to do its job.
Progress towards the large scale abatement of acid emissions has been slow, and methods for controlling NOX lag behind those for dealing with SO2. Emissions of sulphur dioxide are beginning to decline in many areas. Although lakes and forests damaged by acid rain will take some time to recover, action is being taken to improve the situation, and that, in itself, is psychologically important. Finally, much has been written about the necessity to 'clean-up' acid rain. Ironically, the acidity is really the end-product of a series of natural cleansing processes by which the atmosphere attempts to maintain some degree of internal chemical balance.
Bioremediation means to use a biological remedy to abate or clean up contamination. This makes it different from remedies where contaminated soil or water is removed for chemical treatment or decontamination, incineration, or burial in a landfill. Microbes are often used to remedy environmental problems found in soil, water, and sediments. Plants have also been used to assist bioremediation processes. This is called phytoremediation. Biological processes have been used for some inorganic materials, like metals, to lower radioactivity and to remediate organic contaminants. With metal contamination the usual challenge is to accumulate the metal into harvestable plant parts, which must then be disposed of in a hazardous waste landfill before or after incineration to reduce the plant to ash. Two exceptions are mercury and selenium, which can be released as volatile elements directly from plants to atmosphere. The concept and practice of using plants and microorganisms to remediate...
Title IV allows companies to buy, sell, trade, and bank pollution rights. Utility units are allocated allowances based on their historic fuel consumption and a specific emissions rate. Each allowance permits a unit to emit one ton of SO2 during or after a specific year. For each ton of SO2 discharged in a given year, one allowance is retired and can no longer be used. Companies that pollute less than the set standards will have allowances left over. They can then sell the difference to companies that pollute more than they are allowed, bringing them into compliance with overall standards. Companies that clean up their pollution would recover some of their costs by selling their pollution rights to other companies.
In older industrial areas, municipal water and sewage facilities, many built in the last century, are overwhelmed by population pressures, and a decline in investment in sewage disposal in the late 1970s and early 1980s has resulted in the downgrading of river water quality in most urban areas. Until recently, sewage in most industrialized countries was dumped directly into the nearest body of water for example, until the mid-1960s, American and Canadian cities pumped untreated sewage directly into the Great Lakes, contributing to its reputation as one of the most polluted bodies of water in the world. In most cases, it was not municipal farsightedness but agitation by independent environmental groups that led to pressure for sewage treatment and an end to direct dumping. Efforts to clean up urban waterways, now underway in many industrialized cities, are estimated to cost billions of dollars.
Some 350 million tonnes of hazardous industrial wastes are generated worldwide each year, about 90 percent of which comes from industrial countries. The US Environmental Protection Agency has identified a top-priority national list of over 5000 hazardous sites ('Super fund sites') left behind by industry, which, together will cost billions of dollars to clean up. As the curtain of secrecy lifts from Eastern Europe, tales of dead rivers, unbreathable air, villages abandoned because of extreme pollution, and other industrial horrors are being revealed daily.
Once the equipment is prepared for disposal, it must be removed by a company licensed to handle hazardous wastes. It is your company's responsibility to ensure that the recycler is actually recycling and properly handling the equipment. Laws that protect the environment hold the company that purchases hazardous material liable for its proper disposal. If someone shows up and offers to handle it without a visible and verifiable process, the company may find itself liable for a very expensive dump clean-up.
The chemical industry lived through a green transition years ago as it sought to reformulate many of its compounds to be more environmentally friendly to use and to discard. Today, few people use oil-based house paint thinned with flammable turpentine. Instead, they use water-based latex. So in a sense, it is now the IT industry's turn to clean up its act.
The use of biological systems to clean up contamination is known as bioremediation. Bioremediation includes all cleanup technologies that take advantage of biological processes to remove contaminants from soil and groundwater the most common technique is microbial metabolism. For decades, scientists have known that microbes can degrade certain organic contaminants, and in cases of historical contamination, microbial communities often adapt to take advantage of the energy released when these chemicals are degraded (i.e., metabolized). By studying the existing conditions, substances that microbes need to break down chemicals, such as nutrients or oxygen, may be added to enhance biodegradation. Microbial biodegradation is capable of degrading most organic contaminants.
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