Welcome to our class!

We are an environmental science course at St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, NJ, taught by Mrs. T. We'll be blogging about environmental issues all term, so please stay tuned!

Monday, January 13, 2020

C.E.R.C.L.A : Superfund

C.E.R.C.L.A is an acronym for the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. It is commonly known as Superfund. Cercla is a law created by Congress that focuses on cleaning up land contaminated by hazardous waste. A very important law to ensure the safety of our health and the environment. In the making of this law, Congress created the Superfund which is technically a "trust fund". The Superfund was created by taxing chemical and petroleum industries to help compensate for the cost of cleaning up these contaminated lands. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in charge of any use of the Superfund. Money is normally used from the fund when the EPA finds nobody responsible for the damage. Whos exactly liable for contamination of a land? Any previous/present owner or operator of the land, whoever took part in arranging the dumping of wastes, and the transporters who transported the waste to the site. If and when the party responsible isn't able to pay for the cleanup of the hazardous waste, the EPA is authorized to use the Superfund to remedy the cost. The EPA then makes sure that the party eventually reimburses the money used from the Superfund. 
Superfund Site
There are over 1,300 Superfund Sites. Cercla and Superfund help protect not only the Environment but even us citizens, from any releases of hazardous substances created by these waste sites. 

Monday, April 8, 2019

Minamata Environmental Disease

Minamata disease was first discovered in Minamata city in Kumamoto prefecture Japan, in Japan, in 1956. It was caused by the release of methylmercury in the industrial wastewater from the Chisso Corporation's chemical factory, which continued from 1932 to 1968. The Chisso Corporation first opened a chemical factory in Minamata in 1908. Initially producing fertilizers, the factory followed the nationwide expansion of Japan's chemical industry, branching out into the production of acetylene, acetaldehyde, acetic acid, vinyl chloride, and octanol, among others. The Minamata factory became the most advanced in all Japan, both before and World War II. The products resulting from the manufacture of these chemicals were released into Minamata Bay in the factory wastewater. Inevitably, these pollutants had an environmental impact. Ultimately it was caused by daily intake of fish and shellfish highly contaminated by methylmercury.  Through gills and gastrointestinal tracts, fishery products such as fish, shrimp, carbs, and shellfish, take in methylmercury discharged from chemical plants into rivers and seas. Flesh-eating fish that eat those contaminated fish also accumulate the toxic substance( food web). Thus accumulated methylmercury in sea-food intoxicates people who have eaten a lot of such seafood daily. Sometimes referred to as Chisso-Minamata disease. The symptoms include ataxia, numbness in the hands and feet, general muscle weakness, narrowing of the field of vision and damage to hearing and speech. A fundamental cure for Minamata disease has not yet been found. The main treatments involve the temporary relief of symptoms (symptoms therapy), rehabilitation (physiotherapy and occupational therapy). In all, 900 people died and 2,265 people were certified as having directly suffered from mercury poisoning- now known as Minamata disease.

The Year without a Summer

Image result for the year without a summer

Mount Tambora is located in Sambora which is an island of Indonesia.On April tenth of 1815 the Volcano erupted over a span of two weeks.Covered a square area 100 miles on each side to a depth of almost 12 feet. The eruption killed 12,000 people in the span of those two weeks. Sulfur Dioxide was shot high into the air mixing with water vapor. This turned it into Sulfur Aerosols. These particles linger above the air and reflect light back to the atmosphere dropping the earth's temperature.Snow was reported on June 6, 1816 in New York and Maine and in Cape May, New Jersey had five days of frost that killed crops and left people with no food. Grain prices quadrupled and oats went up eight fold.In Europe the same things happened with the crops. European cities were ravaged with  famine, disease, arson, and looting. People lost faith in God and their Kings.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

The Bhopal Gas Leak

The Bhopal Gas Leak was one of the most deadliest pollution that killed thousands of people. The Gas Leak was caused by methyl isocyanate. This chemical is a terrible mixture of methyl and cyanide plus oxygen causing your body to burn or even worse die, which happen back in December 2-3 1984 at Union Carbine. 
This happen by entries of water and methyl isocyanate being mixed in over heating the tank causing it to pop and letting out chemical. By this incident it cause the chemical to become gas and killing over 5,000 people. As of today people still get infected by this gas causing them to have disorders. But as of today people are still trying make an huge effort on trying to save Bhopal.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Terrance Parks                             3/11/ 19
Environmental science                        Block 4

In my presentation, I talked about the importance of The Endangered Species Act and its effect on the world. I inform the class of its origin, giving background details on why it was put in and who saw the importance of the issue. I presented a list of the various creatures who were endangered or on the verge of being endangered, to their current growth in species population due to the act. While some might not see the importance of this act, not only does it protect animals, but plants and other forms of life in the environments. Overall we should still be stressing the importance of this act so that the balance of multiple environments stay intact.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Grand Canyon National Park

Image result for grand canyon national parkGrand Canyon National Park encompasses canyons, river tributaries, and surrounding grounds The Grand Canyon is situated in Arizona's northwestern quadrant. Americans never really explored the park until the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. In 1875 the gov’t sent an expedition led by Lieutenant Joseph Ives to explore the Colorado river. 1893 president Benjamin Harrison created the Grand Canyon National Forest Reserve. There are artifacts of people living there in the past. 11 native american tribes were moved out into reservations in 1800s. Native Americans are trying to stop a project that creates a gondola from the top of the canyon to the bottom. Natives are not happy about this because this is their land and we are taking it away from them. Theodore Roosevelt declared the Grand Canyon a National Monument in 1908. In 1919 President Woodrow Wilson signed the Grand Canyon into law making it the 17th national park of the U.S. The park holds an abundant amount of animals. These include bison, squirrels, deer, mountain lions, bats, bighorn sheep, elk, and skunks. There are many things to do at the park. There are many tours and helicopter rides. You can also go on rafts!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Mobro 4000

The Most Watched Load of Garbage in the Memory of Man

In the spring of 1987, a barge called the Mobro 4000 was carrying over three thousand tons of trash around the East Coast of the US. It covered about six thousand miles, and it became one of the biggest garbage sagas in modern history.
There was an excess of trash in New York City that needed to go to any available landfill. Salvatore Avellino, a known mob boss of Long-Island's trash hauling, bought the trash and decided to transport it to a landfill in North Carolina. He was willing to bury it on a local landfill and make energy out of it by capturing the methane gas liberated by the trash. However, photographers took pictures of bedpans and other medical waste mixed with the normal trash. That drove state regulators from North Carolina crazy. It was suspected that Avellino let gang members throw medical waste in that trash. After the word got spread out, no community was willing to take it, even though there was enough space for the tremendous amount of trash that the "gar-barge" was carrying.  
The barge started its journey in New York City. It stopped in states such as New Jersey, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. It also past through the Gulf of Mexico, and it went as South as Belize. Every time it docked, people would see the big amount of trash on the barge, so the news and the TV were all over it. After Avellino's company got bankrupted, the Mobro was abandoned. It came back to New York City, where it got incinerated and buried. The Mobro 4000 saga, drove an important concern over the amount of trash that the country was producing. Environmentalists and other people that worried about it initiated recycling movements in a lot of places, especially in New York City, where all the trash that the barge carried over came from.