2 Key Concepts Students will learn. . . When were the first laws passed protecting against water pollutionWhat was the most important law passed to deal with air pollutionWhat is involved in protecting land resources
3 World’s ResourcesEach year, Americans throw out about 30 million cell phones, 18 million computers, 8 million TV sets, and enough tires to circle the planet about three times6% of the world’s population uses about 33% of the world’s resources and creates about 33% of the world’s garbage
4 ConservationThis enormous consumption of products that are discarded on a regular basis wastes many of our precious resources which are already nonrenewableMany people think conservation and pollution prevention is the answer.Conservation is the careful use of resources
5 Pollution and It’s Affects Between the late 1940s and the 1970s, a number of serious pollution disasters attracted attention worldwide in the newsIn the US and Europe, air pollution sickened thousandsOil spills of the Alaskan coast threatened hundreds of miles of coastline and killed millions of sea creatures; both fish and mammalsIn 1969, the Cuyahoga River in Ohio caught on fire from the large amount of pollutants on it’s surface
6 Clean Water Act 1972Starting in the 1970’s, the federal Government passed several laws to prevent or decrease pollution and to protect the environment1972 Congress passed the Clean Water Act (CWA)This law required industries to reduce or eliminate point-source pollution into surface watersIt led to a large increase in sewage treatment plants which helped to eliminate discharge into bays, lakes and riversBecause of the CWA, surface waters that were safe for swimming and fishing increased form 36% to 62%
7 The Safe Drinking Water Act The Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 helped protect our water resources by safeguarding our drinking water supplyIt set maximum levels of contaminants allowed for a number of known pollutants that we know are harmful to the public health.Because of these two laws; our water supply is cleaner than it was 30 years ago
8 Protecting Our AirIn 1970, Congress also passed the Clean Air Act. This is the nation’s most important law guarding us from air pollution.It established acceptable levels for six major pollutants that affect health and the environmentCarbon monoxideozone,LeadSulfur dioxideNitrogen oxidesFine particles (soot, etc)This set of acceptable levels is known as the NAAQS orNational Ambient Air Quality Standards
9 Protecting Our AirOnce these set of standards for air quality were established, air monitors were set up in all communities.If levels exceed the allowable limit in a community, the Federal Government requires the community to come up with a plan to correct the problem and bring emissions to an allowable levelBetween 1970 and 2001, the levels of these six key pollutants have decreased by 24% as a result of the Clean Air Act while energy consumption increased by 42%
10 Contributing Factors to Cleaner Air Many factors have assisted the Clean Air Act in reducing emissions of pollutantsToday power plants and automobiles use pollution control devices to reduce or eliminate pollutantsPower plants use low-sulfur coal when availableIncreased use of clean alternate energy sources such as hydroelectric, wind and water turbines reduce pollutionEnergy conservation through more efficient heating of homes and improvements in insulation of homes has saved considerable amounts of energy as well, reducing usage
11 Protecting Land Resources Protecting land resources involves preventing pollution and managing resources wisely.Farmers now use many soil conservation practices to prevent the loss of topsoil and preserve soil fertilityContour plowing; plowing across the contour of a hill to reduce runoff erosionStrip cropping; planting crops with different nutrient values in adjacent rowsSelective cutting of trees in forests as opposed to clear-cutting everythingNatural fertilizers such as organic composts and pest-control methods vs. commercial chemicals
12 Protecting Land Resources How we deal with landfills has changed radically in the past 30 years as well.Since 1977, sanitary landfills have largely replaced old-style landfills.Sanitary landfills have plastic or clay liners that prevent wastes from leaking into the soil or groundwater.
13 Protecting Land Resources The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 has decreased the illegal dumping of hazardous waste.The law requires companies to store, transport, and dispose of hazardous wastes according to strict guidelines.The 1980 Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (Superfund) mandates the cleaning up of abandoned hazardous waste sites that are a danger to the public or the environment
14 RecyclingAnother important method of conserving and protecting our natural resources is to use less of those resources by recycling materials that have been used already.Recycling is the collecting and processing of used items so they can be made into new products.
15 Computer Lab: Guided Research Go on the internet and research the following topic:Find 10 different ways you can contribute to recycling in your community; list where in your community you can bring things. Be specific