In the book, Sacrifice Zones, Steve Lerner takes readers through twelve separate stories of communities in the United States that have been unwillingly exposed to high levels of environmental toxicity. In each of these cases, citizens of those communities reacted to and pushed back against being exposed to toxic chemicals, sometimes successfully and sometimes less so. In every case, the people most heavily exposed to these health hazards were minorities and low-income citizens, which, Lerner argues, is why government officials and corporate decision-makers chose knowingly to risk exposing them. This paper will outline Lerner’s book and argue that despite a long history of protests, lawsuits, media attention and nationwide outrage, willing exposure of low-income and minority Americans to toxic chemicals in the pursuit of government and corporate interests is still a major problem today.
New Bedford Harbor, the world’s famous whaling seaport and current number one fishing port in America, continues to be plagued by toxic pollution, which has caused it to become one of the largest EPA Superfund cleanup sites. The harbor, an urban estuary, contains sediment that is highly contaminated by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The PCB-containing industrial waste was introduced into the harbor by two manufacturing facilities from the 1940’s to the 1970’s when the EPA banned the production of PCBs. The result was contamination of six miles of the harbor bottom from the Acushnet River into Buzzards Bay; over 100,000 people currently reside within 3 miles of the contaminated area. PCBs do not break down easily in the environment and therefore pose a serious risk to human health and the environment. Thus, in 1982, the harbor was put onto the EPA’s National Priorities
Toms River—the arrogance of companies in Ocean County, New Jersey affected the environment and human health from dumping waste, discharging acid-laced wastewater, and polluting the air and water exposed toxic chemicals that made children become at higher risk for cancer. Government negligence left these chemical companies avoid prosecution and dumping waste improperly became a common practice. The main idea from this book is the environment does impact your health significantly. Therefore, it is best when regulations are being managed and controlled. Also, studies should be approached in different ways to prove an evidence and remain open to new possibilities and exposures. The main problem in Toms River were regulations were not being enforced
The top priorities in the United States’ public policy making process continue to be protection from terrorism, a stronger economy, and the creation of more jobs (Pew Research Center, 2015). However, with a growing concern for public health and safety due to environmental issues, perhaps our policy makers should address the issues we face daily while living in our communities. The environmental issues extend beyond unhealthy, and risky conditions due to waste management and unsustainable lifestyles. The environmental issues we face are dispersed unevenly in communities, especially in urban areas among minorities. The unequitable dispersal of environmental hazards, transforms a physical resource problem into one of social justice and political decisions. David Pellow addresses this issue in his book, Garbage Wars, by providing a history of movements, technology, politics, waste management and waste conflicts in the US to create an understanding of how inequalities emerge and persist.
Eno Road was used as “the dumping ground” for the county for over forty years, before they officially made the land a landfill. The researchers found that over fourteen-hundred people retrieved their drinking water from private wells or springs within four miles from the landfill, which caused contamination of TCE and other hazardous chemicals throughout the private wells and springs. One particular African American family, the Holt family, basically received a “death sentence” from the U.S. Government because the Holt’s well “was not retested or monitored as recommended by state officials” (140). The whole Holt family experienced a range of deadly illness; anyone would have had these illnesses from drinking well water that had twenty-six parts per billion of TCE, which is twenty-five more than the regulation. Yet, the Holt family had to wait to be “treated,” but they never received the respect or the money they deserved from this awful
The St. Francis Dam was open for use in 1926, following two years of constructions. The dam was built in order to give the city of Los Angeles, and various other areas within the region a source of water. Though the dam itself had good intentions, faulty engineering design, and bad construction ultimately led to the untimely collapse of the dam on March 12th, 1928. After extensive research by various local, state, and federal investigators, it was determined that engineers didn’t take into account or didn’t care for safety measures of the dam. Since the St. Francis Dam was so profitable, many people including non-engineering personnel intentionally ignored the obvious early signs that the dam was going to collapse. No one wanted to lose out on the economic prosperity the dam was giving. The dam itself was for the most part proven to be inadequate even before the dam itself collapsed. The personal who worked on the construction and the maintenance of the dam saw negative signs early on such as cracks in the dam, and leaks. Still, despite these obvious warnings, the engineers and personals ignored these issue. The negligence of these workers and their failure to report or take seriously the warning signs lead to the collapse. This dam disaster was extremely catastrophic, and lead to the death of some 431 people. After the collapse of the dam, many new pages of regulations and engineering code were implemented in order to prevent another collapse of this dam again.
The senior officials of San Jose failed when it came to the disaster that had hit a short time ago. Numerous days leading up to the tragedy, officials had evidence that the water was continuously rising. A better plan should have been implemented in order to minimize the damage as
Bryce Andersen McCarthy Period 1 5 April 2017 Water Pollution Water pollution has been an issue for decades here on Earth. Wildlife that lives in or near the ocean are being harmed because of all the trash and waste in the water. For Example: 70% of industrial waste are being dumped into water. Because of all this industrial water, 64% of lakes are not clean because of water pollution, 44% of streams are not clean because of pollution, and 30% of bays are not clean because of water pollution. In 1978, the Amoco Cadiz oil platform spilled over 220,000 tons of oil off the coast of France. This resulted in the death of many species of wildlife around the world. When humans make big mistakes causing natural disasters, the wildlife are the ones that usually pay the price. The people of the United States can reduce water pollution by picking up other people’s trash that is left on the ground, stopping people from draining oil from their vehicles into sources of water, and getting rid of the use of pesticides and other fertilizers.
A SERIES OF HUMAN ERRORS’ is to blame for a US warplane’s strike on a hospital in Afghanistan run by Doctors Without Borders that killed 30 people and injured dozens last month, according to the official military investigation report – which details a series of technical and procedural problems that led to the tragedy.
Over the past couple of years a new environmental issue has taken place illegal dumping, which is astoundingly different than the environmental issues that the City of Houston has been commonly known for, although it has devastating effect. In, fact what is rather unusual for this issue unlike the issues of air pollution the oil and gas industry has little to no involvement with creating the issue. While the city of Houston and Galveston had created guidelines for handling illegal dumping in 1999 the need to address this issue returned in early 2015.
While racism as a whole is still an issue, there has been escalating In 1987, there were “fifteen cancer victims in a two-block stretch” in an area along the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana (“Cancer Alley, Louisiana” 2006). The population of cancer alley is low-income and African American, and it has been reported that “19 to 47 million pounds of ethylene dichloride (EDC), a suspected human carcinogen, was discharged into a local stream” (“Cancer Alley, Louisiana” 2006). Due to the many cancer cases, those who could relocate did and those who did not have privilege stayed back and endured the pollution without help from the government. Most of these citizens have little education, and even though there are about 136 facilities on site, unemployment was high (“Cancer Alley, Louisiana” 2006). Then, a few years later, another company planned to build a toxic complex on cancer alley and continued to do so until 1996. Despite the complaints from the community against these entities, companies continued to routinely place their facilities on the very same spots rather than look for an alternative. Because they knew these people are highly disadvantaged minorities, they see no huge complications against their landfills that they cannot simply brush off, making it a deliberate decision to target these people of color. This indicates that African Americans are more likely to live near industrial plants than whites, creating a resource apartheid in which blacks do not have the same access to public health and clean natural services. Consquently, “those in poverty are subject not just to widening income inequality, but to environmental injustices as well” (Lee,
Royal Carribean Toxic Waste Dumping During the 1990’s one of the most famous cruise ship companies, Royal Caribbean, was caught illegally discharging toxic waste into oceans surrounding the United States and surrounding countries, as well as international waters. According to Wald the waste included, but is not limited to, oily water from the bilge of the ships, chemicals used for dry cleaning, and chemicals used to develop film. These chemicals were mixed in with the gray water, used water that is safe to drain into the ocean, and then flushed out with the gray water (1999). The Department of Justice pointed out that in an attempt to cover their tracks, workers on these cruise ships kept false maintenance logs, and had bypass pipes
I. Introduction Regulating the toxic waste emissions of polluting organizations has been a costly and time-consuming element of environmental policy for as long as there have been restrictions on these emissions. However, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), signed into law in late 1986, set forth a number of standards that required polluters to disclose information about their emissions levels to the public and started a chain of events that has led to the creation of numerous information disclosure policies. One of the main thoughts behind these laws, aside from the benefit of increased public awareness of pollution in the community and the ability to plan for emergencies involving the wastes from
Human error seems to be something that people see as being unavoidable and inescapable but in actuality there are ways in which if followed, errors especially in judgment can be avoided. First of all, why do errors occur? Some of us will agree that error occurs when an individual doesn’t have full knowledge on something or a topic but neglect that fact and act in such a way that displays they know everything. Knowledge is simply the ability to know something. Our Knowledge grows over time as we explore the world, watch the news, read books and so on. The first way to avoid error is to be open to knowledge and be wise enough to accept what one does not know. Socrates in his quest of proving that he isn’t the wisest like the oracle says,
Today, the chemical waste disposal and treatment site takes up 5.7 million cubic yards and disposes of approximately 35 million tons of garbage a year, actions which neglect general health safety. According to the cerrell report, over ninety percent of the hazardous waste has been disposed in a potentially harmful