Environmental Problem: Buried Waste Disposal Sites

Buried waste disposal sites, especially those are near or the actual spots for residential houses, pose great threats to the health and wellbeing individuals who will be exposed more specifically to contaminated water systems. (“Background on Buried Waste at INL Site,” 2008) Aside from the contamination of the water system that might result to illnesses and diseases caused by water-borne bacteria and viruses, residential houses built on buried waste disposal sites might experience extreme termite or rodent problems which are unsanitary and harmful to the health of families who live in the area.

Another issue is the impending threat of obtaining respiratory illnesses from air pollution caused by the excessive amount of chemicals and other compounds present in the area. (Krieger & Higgins, 2002) When it comes to the safety of living in an area built on a buried waste disposal site, there are little guarantees that the foundation of the houses is solid enough to last for the next decade. Chemical processes that take place due to the contact of chemicals underneath the soil might affect the quality of the land and its ability to be unyielding to deterioration and wreckage.

(“Fact Sheet,” 2006) Learning that the house my family and I has been staying for in the past fifteen years was built over a buried waste disposal site would cause a sudden alarm. There is a need to report this issue to authorities, or institutions who are involved with the issue and will be able to help resolve the problems. Government agencies, real estate institutions, neighbors, and other private institutions that specialize in the area of environmental policies and implementation should be informed of such problem.
Next, there is a need to recommend evacuation to safer areas for the meantime while studies will be conducted to determine the potential problems that have affected the topography of the area and the potential problems that might have long-term effects on individuals who have stayed in the area during the last decade. Also, undergoing medical examination and health-related assessments would be a great move to determine if the time spent living within the area has had an impact on our health and wellbeing.
In terms of evaluating the land located over a buried waste disposal site, there are various techniques or approaches available to evaluate potential problems in the future. To determine the impact of the buried waste on the water system, there is a need to implement the processes of waste containment, area restrictions, and groundwater monitoring. Although water sampling would suffice in determining the level of contamination, if present, in the water system, there is a need to implement a thorough process of involving not only the groundwater but the buried wastes in the area.
These processes will help authorities to determine whether the buried waste is affecting the water system, and if not, to establish ways to prevent it from happening. Moreover, this will also help in determining whether the people who have lived in the area have been exposed to dangerous bacteria or viruses from the contaminated water system. (“Fact Sheet,” 2006) Another method of approaching the buried waste disposal site problem is the implementation of the baseline risk assessment. This process helps environmental officers and professionals in determining the types of contaminants present in the area.
Through the use of historical records and other information that pertain to how the waste disposal site was managed in the past, environment conscious institutions will be able to determine how to approach the problem. They will be able to determine what types of contaminants to look for based on the types of waste disposed in the area. (“Buried Waste Environmental Investigation,” 2006) Perhaps the most thorough process of evaluating the risks posed by the buried waste disposal site is the risk screening approach.
This process follows the direction of the potential impacts that the waste might produce, from its source to its closing stages. The site will be screened in every aspect and dimensions, making sure that possible effect are identified. Once this is concluded, it is time to conduct prevention measures according to the level or priority – depending on the magnitude of damage or threat that the site may impose on the area and human life. (Environmental Protection Agency, 2007) References “Background on Buried Waste at INL Site. ” (2008).
Retrieved November 11, 2008, from Idaho Cleanup Project. Website: http://www. id. doe. gov/NEWS/PressReleases/PR080701-Announcement/HistoryofBuriedWaste. pdf “Buried Waste Environmental Investigation. ” (2006). Retrieved November 11, 2008, from Idaho Cleanup Project. Website: https://idahocleanupproject. com/Portals/0/documents/BuriedWaste%20factsheet%20english%20FINAL. pdf Environmental Protection Agency. (2007). CODE OF PRACTICE: Environmental Risk Assessment for Unregulated Waste Disposal Sites. Website: http://www. epa.
ie/downloads/advice/waste/waste/epa_cop_waste_disposal_sites. pdf “Fact Sheet. ” (2006). Retrieved November 11, 2008, from Environmental Protection Agency. Website: http://www. epa. gov/region7/factsheets/2006/fs_eeca_former_ne_plant_mead_ne1106. htm Krieger, J. & Higgins, D. L. (2002). Housing and Health: Time Again for Public Health Action. American Journal of Public Health, Volume 92, Issue 5. Retrieved November 11, 2008, from ProQuest. Website: http://proquest. umi. com/pqdweb? did=118106560&sid=2&Fmt=3&clientId=4538&RQT=309&VName=PQD


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