Presentation on theme: "Chapter 14.3 Environmental Issues. The Emergence of Environmentalism Every time we drive a car or throw away trash, we are harming our environment. The."— Presentation transcript:
The Emergence of Environmentalism Every time we drive a car or throw away trash, we are harming our environment. The Environmental Protection Agency, created by the Clean Air Act, set environmental goals and standards. State environmental protection departments must comply by monitoring air and water quality and inspecting industrial facilities.
continued Americans produce millions of tons of solid waste, or garbage, each year. Most is dumped in landfills, which are filling up fast. In some areas, rainwater seeping through landfills has damaged streams and underground water. Opposition from citizens makes it difficult for gov’ts to find new sites. No one wants a landfill “in my backyard”.
continued Much solid waste is burned rather than dumped in landfills. However, toxic substances in the smoke can cause air pollution. Another alternative is recycling, or reusing old materials to make new ones. Most communities have programs to recycle paper, metal cans, plastic and glass bottles.
continued Not all waste is recyclable and many people do not participate. Also, economic slowdowns can cause recycling companies to pay local gov’ts less for the materials. As a result, local gov’ts may spend less on curbside pickup. Conservation is the careful preservation and protection of natural resources. We can conserve by buying products in recyclable rather than throwaway containers.
Threat of Hazardous Waste Hazardous waste can be toxic or cause cancer. Hazardous waste includes radioactive waste from nuclear power plants as well as runoff from pesticides sprayed on plants and form improperly discarded used motor oil, auto engine coolant and batteries.
continued Ocean dumping ended in 1970. Now, hazardous wastes must be disposed of on land. At present, there is no truly safe way to do this. Serious health problems from toxic waste sites have caused entire communities to abandon their homes.
Protecting the Air and Water Fumes from cars and trucks, toxic gases from factory smokestacks and even cigarettes contribute to air pollution. Chemical waste from factories causes most water pollution. Some factories have dumped chemicals directly into rivers and streams. Others have buried it, allowing it to seep into underground water supplies.
continued Federal regulations limit the amounts and kinds of waste that factories may discharge. Budget limitations keep many regulations from being strictly enforced. Cars and trucks are the worst air polluters in most cities. To help, the federal gov’t required the removal of lead from gasoline. It also required the automobile industry to develop more fuel-efficient and cleaner-burning engines.
continued To persuade people to drive less, local gov’ts are improving public transportation systems and creating carpool lanes. Smoking is a source of indoor as well as outdoor air pollution. Many areas have passed no-smoking ordinances affecting restaurants and bars. Almost all states regulate smoking in public buildings.