Exam 2 results What are the approximate costs associated with biological invasions in the United States? A) $36 million / year B) $136 million / year C) $36 billion / year D) $136 billion / year
Exam 2 results By the year 2020, it is expected that the United States will be using how many million barrels of oil per day? A) between 1-10 B) between 20-30 C) between 50-100 D) between 100-200
Exam 2 results Insecticides can benefit human health. A) TRUE B) FALSE
Apple is the Worst Environmental Offender in Tech, Says Greenpeace By Brennon Slattery , Apr 22, 2011 The report, "How Dirty is Your Data?", compared Apple to other top tech companies such as Amazon's Web Services, Facebook, Google, HP, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo. Apple scored the lowest--6.7 percent--in its overall Clean Energy Index, while Yahoo scored the highest, with 55.9 percent. Apple was also the worst offender in terms of coal intensity, scoring 54.5 percent, with Facebook trailing closely behind with 53.2 percent.
Apple is the Worst Environmental Offender in Tech, Says Greenpeace By Brennon Slattery , Apr 22, 2011 Accepting the brunt of the blame is Apple's 500,000-square-foot facility coming online in Maiden, North Carolina--a facility that, according to Greenpeace, will consume as much energy as 80,000 U.S. homes. Google and Facebook also have facilities on that grid, which is made up of only about 5 percent clean energy, with the rest coming from either coal (62 percent) or nuclear (32 percent).
What do we do with our garbage?
What are the problems with hazardous waste?
What happened at Love Canal?
The town that wants nuclear waste Per Nyberg , CNN April 24, 2011 Like the energy source itself, it's the question that won't go away: what can be done with spent nuclear fuel? Sweden believes it has the answer. The plan is to bury the country's expected 12,000 tons of nuclear waste in corrosion-resistant copper canisters under 500 meters of crystalline bedrock. There it will remain isolated from human contact for at least 100,000 years.
Penn. dentist dumps hazardous waste into ocean
On 22 Aug 2008, a dentist dumped waste (=biohazard) from his dental practice into an Atlantic ocean inlet.
Proper disposal would cost $200-300 annually
Waste included: hundreds of hypodermic needles, cotton swabs, and more
Waste caused beach closures as it washed ashore
Dentist plead guilty in mid-March for polluting the water
Hazardous Wastes – Dangerous by-products of industrial, business, or household activities for which there is no immediate use.
Numerous types and forms:
Liquids, solids, sludge
Defining Hazardous Waste
U.S. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) 1976:
Cause or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible, or incapacitating reversible, illness; or pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, disposed of, or otherwise managed.
Many chemical compounds have not been tested adequately for adverse affects!!
Issues Involved in Setting Regulations
Identification of Hazardous &Toxic Materials
Setting Exposure Limits
Nearly all substances are toxic in sufficient quantities.
Acute vs. Chronic Toxicity
Effects of massive doses (acute) and small doses over time (chronic) differ.
Assessing effects of chemical mixtures.
Most toxicity studies done on a single compound .
Environmental Problems Caused By Hazardous Wastes
Because most hazardous wastes are disposed on or in land, most serious effect is contaminated groundwater.
100,000 industrial landfill sites
180,000 surface impoundments
Nearly 2% of North America ’s underground aquifers could be contaminated.
Once polluted, prohibitively costly to restore water to original state; often not even physically possible
Welcome to the era of 'extreme energy’ John D. Sutter , CNN April 20, 2011 Canada's oil sands, 620 miles north of Montana. Huge amounts of energy are expended to clear boreal forests and dig up land that's about 10% bitumen, a thick form of crude that must be processed multiple times before it turns into gasoline or jet fuel.
http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/09/13/fracking.explainer/index.html New York governor pauses 'fracking’ Sarah Hoye , CNN December 13, 2010 Using hydraulic fracturing, drillers pump large amounts of water mixed with sand and chemicals into the shale formation thousands of feet underground under high pressure. Fracturing the shale around the gas well then allows the natural gas to flow freely. The process has raised concerns about whether those chemicals are contaminating the underground water. Some residents near hydraulic fracturing drill sites along the Delaware River Basin -- in Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania -- have been able to set their water on fire.
New York governor pauses 'fracking’ Sarah Hoye , CNN December 13, 2010 The proposed moratorium in New York was described as "misguided" by Kathryn Klaber, who represents a large natural gas industry coalition in the Northeast. "Tightly regulated, environmentally sound natural gas development in New York can and will deliver a much-needed and long-lasting economic shot in the arm ... for the entire state, just as it is in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and elsewhere," said a written statement from Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition. http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2010/09/13/griffin.gas.danger.cnn
Each year, roughly 1,000 new chemicals are produced and distributed.
70,000 already in daily use.
Main problem is often improper handling and disposal
IEPA household hazardous waste collection
Mercury Thermostats/Thermometers, Antifreeze, Solvents, Metal Polishes, Drain Cleaners, Cleaning Products, Paint Removers, Oil-Based Paints (no water-based paints), Aerosol Paints, Paint Thinners, Fluorescent Bulbs, Hobby Chemicals, Pool Chemicals, Fungicides, Furniture Strippers, Used Oils, Insecticides, Herbicides, Pesticides, Weed Killers, Lawn Chemicals, Old Gasoline, Used Motor Oil, Household/Automotive Batteries, Propane Tanks (20 & 20 lb. cylinders), and Fire Extinguishers
Household Hazardous Waste Collections The Illinois EPA coordinates one-day household hazardous waste collections each year in the spring and fall. http://www.call2recycle.org/ http://www.epa.state.il.us/land/hazardous-waste/household-haz-waste/
Hazardous Waste Dumps: A Legacy of Abuse
Prior to 1976, hazardous waste was essentially unregulated.
Most common disposal solution was to bury or dump the wastes without concern for environmental or health risks.
Hazardous Waste Dumps
When sites became full or unnecessary, they were simply abandoned.
In North America alone, currently over 25,000 sites containing hazardous waste. U.S. has highest number of dumps needing immediate attention.
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).
Modified in 1984 by Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act.
Aimed at rapid containment, cleanup, or remediation of abandoned toxic waste sites.
Toxic Release Inventory - Requires 20,000 manufacturing facilities to report annually on releases of more than 300 toxic materials.
EPA Superfund Sites (Since 1980)
Sites contaminated by hazardous waste and identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a candidate for cleanup because it poses a risk to human health and/or the environment.
1,300 Superfund sites across the country
In Illinois: 46 active, 2 cleaned
Total costs for hazardous waste cleanup in the US are estimated between $370 billion and $1.7 trillion.
For years, most of the funding has gone to legal fees, but this situation has improved over past several years.
Studies of Superfund sites reveal minorities tend to be over-represented in these neighborhoods.
1892 -- William T. Love proposed a canal for navigation and hydropower
Only one mile of the canal built, used for swimming and recreation
1920 – Land sold at public auction
Became a municipal and chemical disposal site.
Including: Benzene - causes leukemia Dioxin – causes cancer Hooker Chemical Company dumped over 20,000 tons of chemicals until 1953.
1953 - Hooker covered the site with dirt and clay and sold the land to the Niagara Falls Board of Education for $1.00 1955 - the 99th Street elementary school opened and homes were built on the 16-acre rectangular site 1960s-1970s repeated complaints to city
Aug. 7, 1978, President Jimmy Carter declared a federal emergency at Love Canal Aug. 2, 1978 - the NY State Department of Health recommended temporary relocation of pregnant women and young children April, 1978 – Report in newspaper about toxic chemicals 1976 -- Calspan Corporation hired as consultant
1990s – Resettlement of area begins
1980s -- Human Heath issues documented
Of 17 pregnancies in 1979 – 2 normal, 9 birth defects, 2 stillborn, 4 miscarriages
1980 – Superfund Site
Superfund Controversy - Gowanus Canal
Gowanus Canal flows through Brooklyn, NY
Highly toxic - history of industrial and sewage contamination since 1860s
Found: Pesticides, metals, PCBs (carcinogens)
300 million gallons of raw waste dumped into canal annually via city sewers (currently)
Superfund Controversy - Gowanus Canal
Bloomberg opposed Superfund designation
NYC had worked with activists and Corp to create plans to clean up Gowanus
Concerned Superfund status will slow down progress because of legal issues, lower development interest
(Had halted progress when it was considered for designation)
EPA wanted Superfund designation
Denies negative effect on development
Believes corporations and EPA working together would be complicated
Claims city plan did not have secured funding
Superfund Controversy - Gowanus Canal
Gowanus Canal declared superfund site on March 2, 2010
Bloomberg administration unhappy but will work with EPA to clean up
EPA needs to determine who will pay
Cost est. $300-500 million
Plan will take est. 10-12 years to complete and involves:
Dredging of canal
Removal of contamination sources
Sewage spillover, Groundwater flow from industrial plant locations
Managing Hazardous Wastes
EPA pollution prevention hierarchy:
1. Reduce amount of pollution at the source.
2. Recycle wastes whenever possible.
3. Treat wastes to reduce hazard and/or volume.
4. Dispose of wastes on land or incinerate them as last resort.
Points to Know
What are the environmental problems and health risks caused by hazardous wastes? What is the main source of these problems?