Hazardous Waste Sites

Hazardous waste sites are numerous and common throughout the United States. Use the links below and find a hazardous waste site near you to discuss. If there are none within a reasonable distance, then report on one of your choice. Go to the site to view it. Do not go into the site unless it has been properly remediated and is no longer dangerous and you have permission to do so. This is to familiarize yourself to the site and any apparent problems associated with it. Then, write a minimum of five pages using the following sections: 1) Background – Describe the location of the site, its history, how it became polluted, and what matrices (Atmosphere, surface soil, subsoil, surface water, or superficial or deep aquifer) are polluted; 2) Pollution – Describe what pollutants are present and their concentrations. Indicate the maximum allowable concentrations of these pollutants; 3) Exposures – Discuss the numbers of people who live on or around the site and their potential for exposure. Indicate the types of adverse health effects and the numbers of people who have contracted the health problems; 4) Remediation Efforts – DIscuss any public meetings held, the RI/FS (Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study), ROD (Record of Decision), EIS (Environmental Impact Statement), HA (Health Advisory), and any other investigations that were prepared. Then, discuss how the site was remediated and if it was completed; and 5) Conclusions – Discuss the problems encountered with the mitigation of the site, if the human exposure chain was irrevocably broken, and the most significant issues related to the site. Indicate if the site is of future concern. Share on Facebook Tweet Follow us Sample Answer     The Stringfellow Acid Pits: A Legacy of Hazardous Waste Contamination 1. Background The Stringfellow Acid Pits, located near Glen Avon, California, stand as a stark reminder of the dangers of improper hazardous waste disposal. This 17-acre site operated from 1956 to 1972 as a chemical waste disposal facility, accepting a wide range of hazardous materials from various industries. These wastes were simply dumped into unlined pits, allowing them to seep into the underlying soil and groundwater. Full Answer Section       History: 1956: Stringfellow opened as a waste disposal facility. 1963: Concerns arose about potential environmental contamination. 1972: California Department of Water Resources ordered the Stringfellow site closed. 1983: The site was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites. Pollution: Matrices affected: Surface soil, subsoil, groundwater. Pollution The Stringfellow Acid Pits are contaminated with a cocktail of hazardous chemicals, including: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) like trichloroethylene (TCE) and benzene. Heavy metals like arsenic, lead, and chromium. Acids and solvents. Concentrations: Specific concentration data for each pollutant is not readily available within the scope of this report. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) establishes Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for various pollutants in drinking water. Since the Stringfellow site contaminated groundwater, it’s safe to assume the levels of pollutants like TCE and arsenic exceeded safe drinking water standards. Exposures Population: Approximately 1,700 residents live within a one-mile radius of the Stringfellow Acid Pits. The area includes agricultural land and residential communities. Potential Exposure: Prior to remediation, residents faced potential exposure through: Contaminated well water used for drinking and irrigation. Inhalation of VOCs vapors migrating from the site. Direct contact with contaminated soil. Health Effects: Exposure to the contaminants at Stringfellow has been linked to various health problems, including: Increased cancer rates. Birth defects. Respiratory problems. Skin and nervous system disorders. Number of People Affected: Unfortunately, due to the latency period of many health effects associated with exposure to hazardous waste, it’s difficult to determine the exact number of people impacted. However, studies have shown elevated cancer rates in residents living near the site. Remediation Efforts Public Meetings: Numerous public meetings were held throughout the cleanup process to inform residents about the investigation and remediation efforts. Investigations: Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS): This comprehensive investigation characterized the nature and extent of contamination and evaluated potential treatment options. Record of Decision (ROD): The EPA issued a ROD outlining the chosen cleanup plan. Environmental Impact Statement (EIS): An EIS was prepared to assess the potential environmental impacts of the chosen remediation approach. Health Advisories (HAs): The California Department of Health Services issued health advisories to warn residents about potential health risks associated with exposure to site contaminants. Remediation: A multi-phase cleanup plan was implemented, including: Excavation and removal of contaminated soil. Treatment of contaminated groundwater. Installation of a cap over the remaining buried waste to prevent migration. Completion: The Stringfellow Acid Pits cleanup was a complex and lengthy process. While significant progress has been made, the site is not yet fully remediated. Long-term monitoring and maintenance are ongoing. Conclusions Problems Encountered: The sheer volume and variety of hazardous waste at the site presented significant challenges for remediation. Public concerns and mistrust of government agencies involved in the cleanup process posed additional hurdles. Human Exposure Chain: The closure of the site and ongoing groundwater treatment efforts have helped to break the direct exposure chain for residents. However, long-term monitoring is crucial to ensure the continued protection of public health.   This question has been answered. Get Answer


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