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Industrial Pollution and Environmental Policy Chapter 14 McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. This chapter: Discusses.

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Presentation on theme: "Industrial Pollution and Environmental Policy Chapter 14 McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. This chapter: Discusses."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Industrial Pollution and Environmental Policy Chapter 14 McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. This chapter: Discusses the nature of industrial pollutants and the practices and social philosophies that allowed them to darken the skies, poison waters, and despoil land. Discusses how massive regulatory programs developed to control industrial pollution. Explains the current operation of these programs, how they affect corporations, and how well they work.

3 The Indian Health Service Solves a Mystery Opening Case Five cases of malignant mesothelioma, virtually always caused by exposure to asbestos, in a pueblo of 2,000 Indians puzzled health officials. It was discovered that workers from a nearby plant discarded old asbestos where it was found by members of the tribe and brought back to the pueblo and put to many uses. McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved The story of what happened to the Indians is analogous to what has happened to large populations in industrial societies. In both cases, it was only after substantial exposures had occurred and sickness began to appear that government agencies mobilized to protect public health.

4 Pollution Pollution refers to the release of substances into the environment that inconvenience or endanger humans. Much of it comes from natural sources. Human activity adds more contaminants. Industrial activity both harms human health and disturbs natural ecology. McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 14-4

5 Human Health McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Health Risks Posed by Major Sources of Environmental Pollution Percent of DALYs Environmental Health RiskLess Developed Countries Developed Countries Water supply and sanitation7%1% Indoor air pollution40 Urban air pollution21 Agricultural chemicals and industrial waste 12.5 All pollution-related causes184.5

6 The Biosphere Among the unintended effects of global economic growth within the biosphere are: Disruption of natural chemistry Land conversion Degradation of broad ecosystems Full consequences of these disruptions within the biosphere are unknown. McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 14-6

7 Industrial Activity, Pollution, and the Environment Economic activity is the source of enduring pollution problems. Much interest today is focused on the notion of sustainable development. There is evidence that environmental quality in growing economies does not follow a path of long- term deterioration as in the old industrial revolution model. Environmental Kuznets curve McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 14-7

8 Ideas Shape Attitudes Toward the Environment Dualism Progress Capitalism Utilitarianism McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 14-8

9 New Ideas Challenge the Old Naturalist Aldo Leopold – inspired others to rethink traditional ideas about the man- nature relationship Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess – deep ecology Inspired anti-corporate government groups Philosopher Peter Singer – speciesism McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 14-9

10 Environmental Regulation in the United States The dominant approach to industrial pollution control in the United States has been to pass laws that strictly regulate: Emissions Effluents Waste In the 1970s, Congress passed a remarkable string of new laws, creating a broad statutory base for regulating industry. The Environmental Protection Agency McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

11 Principal Areas of Environmental Policy Air The Clean Air Act National air quality – criteria pollutants Carbon monoxide (CO) Nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ) Sulfur dioxide (SO 2 ) Ozone (O 3 ) Particulates Lead (Pb) McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

12 Principal Areas of Environmental Policy Air (continued) Hazardous air pollutants (a/k/a air toxics) examples: Arsenic Benzene Chromium Radionuclides Methyl chloride The clean air act requires the EPA to set emission standards for 188 air toxics at levels that prevent disease and requires industry to use the maximum achievable control technology to comply. McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

13 Principal Areas of Environmental Policy Air (continued) Acid precipitation is caused primarily by releases of two criteria pollutants: Sulfur dioxide Nitrogen oxides Indoor air pollution Ozone-destroying chemicals Chlorofluorocarbons Greenhouse gases McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Greenhouse gases Atmospheric gases that absorb energy radiated from the earth, preventing it from being released into space.

14 Principal Areas of Environmental Policy Water Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, usually called the Clean Water Act National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Runoff Agricultural Urban McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

15 Principal Areas of Environmental Policy Land Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Firms must label, handle, store, treat, and discard hazardous waste under strict guidelines, keeping meticulous records. Difficult to administer Difficult to comply McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

16 RCRA Landfill Groundwater Monitoring Requirements McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

17 Principal Areas of Environmental Policy Land (continued) Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 Better known as Superfund so-named after the large trust fund it set up to pay for cleanups Created to clean up abandoned toxic waste sites McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

18 Typical Rotary Kiln Incinerator at a Superfund Site McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

19 Assessing the Nations Environmental Laws Inconsistent philosophy Rigidity Bureaucratic sluggishness Complexity Adversarial approach Transmedia pollution McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

20 Concluding Observations Industrial processes damage the environment and cause serious local and global deterioration. A first wave of environmental statutes in the United States has reduced pollution and deterioration, primarily through rigid and expensive regulations. Now that experience has been gained with these laws, their high costs, inflexibility, and adversarial nature are seen as shortcomings. There are many suggestions for more cost-effective and flexible regulation. McGraw-Hill/Irwin© 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


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