Presentation on theme: "How Do We Dispose of Hazardous Materials?. Categories of Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Ignitability: Substance can catch on fire quickly (gasoline, alcohol)"— Presentation transcript:
How Do We Dispose of Hazardous Materials?
Categories of Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Ignitability: Substance can catch on fire quickly (gasoline, alcohol) Corrosivity: Substance corrodes storage tanks and equipment (acids) Reactivity: Substance is unstable, may cause explosion or toxic fumes (explosives, phosphorous sulfuric acid) Toxicity: Substances that are injurous to health when ingested or inhaled (chlorine, pesticides) Radioactivity: Most hazardous (Uranium, radon, plutonium)
The Threat from Toxic Chemicals Fortunately, a large amount of chemicals introduced into the environment are broken down by natural processes, except: Heavy Metals: Lead, Mercury, Arsenic, Cadmium, Tin, Chromium, Zinc and Copper (used in metal industry for batteries and electronics) Organic Compounds: Petroleum derived and synthetic compounds such as plastics, rubber, solvents, pesticides and wood preservatives (Dirty Dozen p. 519)
EPCRA of 1986 Emergency Planning and Community Right-to- Know Act: requires industries to report the locations and quantities of toxic chemicals stored on site.
Methods of Disposing Solid Waste LANDFILLS
INJECTION WELLS Used to dispose of large amounts of liquid waste. Casing is filled with cement, waste injected below drinking water, topped by impervious layer of rock, where it will remain forever
Surface Impoundments Excavated depressions such as ponds, pits or lagoons into which liquid hazardous wastes are drained and stored.
WHAT IS PLASMA ARC? Plasma arc treatment is a high energy technology able to treat a range of scheduled wastes. In plasma arc treatment, a thermal plasma field is created by directing an electric current through a low pressure gas stream. Plasma arc fields can reach 5000 to 15000C. The intense high temperature zone can be used to dissociate the waste into its atomic elements by injecting the waste into the plasma, or by using the plasma arc as a heat source for combustion.
WHAT ARE BROWNFIELDS? Abandoned, idled, or underused industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination … EPA (not serious enough to be superfund sites) Find a Brownfield site, describe how it is being restored and explain what benefit a city/state would have in restoring the land?
WHAT IS THE SUPERFUND ACT? CERCLA: In 1980, US Congress passed the Comprehensive, Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (Superfund Program)
CERCLAs Goals Identify Hazardous Dump Sites Protect and clean up groundwater near these sites (find responsible parties or use funds financed by oil/chemical companies) List worst sites on National Priorities List (NPL)
HISTORY OF THE NEW JERSEY MEADOWLANDS In pre-European times the Meadowlands covered about 20,000 acres of estuarine marsh, freshwater marsh, and Atlantic white cedar swamp.
The Importance of Wetlands Today we are beginning to understand the value of functioning wetlands: They provide a habitat for plants and animals and breeding grounds for fish. They purify our water Provide opportunities for people to observe, learn about, and enjoy wildlife And can even control flooding and soil erosion.
RESTORATION EFFORTS Wetlands tend to be damp, muddy, filled with animals and insects for which many people have no perceived, direct need. The early settlers and 19th century residents sought to fill in the swamps and dike the creeks to make the land suited to their purposes. Thus began the process of wetland loss and degradation.
THE MEADOWLANDS TODAY Today, following many decades of destruction or degradation of wetland habitats due to suburban development, dredging, draining, landfilling, and industrial pollution, some 7,700 acres of wetlands (many of which are privately owned) remain in the 32 square- mile Meadowlands District.