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!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Kingston Fossil Plant Coal Fly Ash Slurry Spill

                  The Kingston Fossil Plant Coal Fly Ash Slurry Spill was the largest fly ash spill in the history of the United States. This devastating spill, which occurred on December 22, 2008, happened at a fossil plant in Roane County, Tennessee, USA. This spill occurred because of a ruptured dike at a waste containment area at the Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) Kingston Fossil Plant. The location of the Clinch River served as a disadvantage when 1.1 billion US gallons of coal fly ash slurry spilled into it. This spill destroyed homes and migration sites near the Clinch and Emory River. The following day, the Green Peace (an environmental group) asked for a criminal investigation to focus on if TVA could have prevented the spill. Eight days later, landowners filed a lawsuit against TVA for 165 million dollars at the Tennessee State Court. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and TVA agreed to managing the clean-up of the Kingston Ash spill and have it meet all federal and states environmental requirements to restore the areas affected.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Kyoto Protocol

"The Kyoto Protocol Treaty" was a contract/commitment constructed ideally, in the late 1900s, for developing countries with high "gas emission rates" that consisted mainly of the greenhouse gases. These greenhouse gases, when exposed into the atmosphere in great quantities, would raise the surface temperature of our planet by trapping the sun's radiation that bounces off of the Earth's surface in the form heat at a much quicker pace. The Kyoto Protocol was constructed in order to monitor and control the amount of green house gases that were released from its participants, hopefully noticing a decrease in the surface temperature of our planet since its establishment in the late 1900s. The Kyoto Protocol, after its establishment, had decided to undergo two commitment periods which would ultimately determine how effective or ineffective it had become in its ideal goal for an overall reduction in gas emission rates. Since the end of its first commitment period which came to an official close in the year 2012, there has been much controversy between those that believe that the Kyoto Protocol is an essential tool in reducing the gas emission rates produced by its Parties, and those that firmly believe that the Kyoto Protocol has made very little or perhaps no sort of progress towards its desired goal. Moving onward with its intended plan, The Kyoto Protocol is set to enter its second commitment period in the year 2013, current time, with the same goal of reducing the gas emissions rates of its participants. Unfortunately with the widely mixed opinions of its analyzers, The Kyoto Protocol seems to be entering into an uncertain future that will produce uncertain results that many attribute to a task that is simply just too big for the Kyoto Protocol to manage on its own.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Healthy Forest Initiative

The Healthy Forest Initiative was a law that was proposed in 2002 by George W. Bush to reduce the amount of forest fires that were occurring around the world. These fires occur in different ways, such as lightning, volcanic eruptions but mostly humans. The law apparently has been working for the past 10 years. The amount of forest fires has reduced since the year of 2003 but the amount of fires still needs to decrease. They are thinning down the forests because they feel they are over crowded with trees and bushes. That has also reduced the amount of fires that happen every year. Hopefully they continue to improve what they're doing already and save more trees and forests.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lipari Landfill

The Lipari Landill is an inactive landfill on a 6-acre former gravel pit in Mantua Township, New Jersey, USA, that was used from 1958 to 1971 as a dump site for household and industrial wastes. Nicholas Lipari had operated a sand and gravel pit at the site. During the period from 1958 until 1971, the landfill accepted 46,000 barrels of chemicals, holding about 3 million  gallons of chemical and industrial garbage. The primary responsible party, who polluted the landfill with chemical waste, cleaned up off-site contamination. The site was drained with millions of gallons of water, nearby water bodies also had to have their water and soil filtered and cleaned at facilities. The toxins in the air affected nearby families reproduction by increasing chances of lower birth weights and studies show affects from the toxins in the children. This disaster was seen as the worst toxic dump in the United States. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Value of Biodiversity

"Save the Spotted Owl!"  "Protect the Polar Bears!"  "Brake for the American Burying Beetle!" 
Why do you feel that we need to preserve the vast panoply of species that inhabit the earth?  Why is it that biodiversity is important?  You can share your opinion, or if you don't know where to start in forming your opinion, do a little research first. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mobro 4000 Garbage Barge

The Mobro 4000 Garbage Barge was a famous hauling of trash from Islip, NY to Belize. The reason for this was to find a place to put the trash because NC officials from a pilot program that usually takes the trash and turns it into a base for natural gas didn't this time. The reason they did not take it this time was because the trash needed an inspection for any harmful toxic waste that might be in the trash. The trash was taken on a barge from NY to Belize and back because they could not find a place to put the trash. The trash was eventually incinerated and the ashes were put in its original place in Islip . 

Occupational safety and health act

The occupational safety health act was a law passed by congress in 1970. The purpose of this law is to provide better working conditions for employees. The law was created to prevent less deaths, illnesses and injuries since a lot of workers were exposed to various hazards. Businesses received an increase in productivity due to the law. The law covers hospitals, law firms, private schools, federal agencies and the United States Postal Service. Unfortunately, those who run family farms, are self employed and other workplaces covered by other laws do not qualify to be covered by the act.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Exxon Valdez

The Exxon Valdez was an oil tanker that was set for Long beach, California ,but unfortunately crashed into the Bligh Reef located off the coast of Prince William Sound in Alaska. The Exxon Valdez was the largest spill in the united states until 2010 it was so large that they could not find the exact number of oil that spilled into the waters. They estimated from about 49,000-120,00 gallons of oil spewed into the coast of Alaska. Due to the Exxon Valdez remote location the spill was hard to clean their location was only accessible by plane,boat,or helicopter. To make things even worse the Valdez was not properly equipped with skimmers until 24 hours after the spill. The clean up took three different methods, on method being burning the oil which was a high risk, the second method was skimmers but they were not on board until 24 hrs after the spill. The last technique they used within the spill was a chemical that would eat away at the oil. To sum it all up the Exxon Valdez oil spill was a horrific incident to happen in the Bligh reef affecting many animals and to the extent of even almost extincting the sea otter.

Friday, March 1, 2013

9/11 environment affect

    The terrorist attack of September 11th was not only a catastrophe to our government and to are to the people of the United States in general. It was a hit to our pride and a hit to our environment. It destroyed the World Trade Center (WTC) and that has caused a negative impact to our environment.
Off of the impact of the plains on the WTC it caused smoke and other unfriendly materials in the atmosphere. This has caused a negative affect on the people who inhaled it. It's caused long term damage and has effected many of the inhabitants of NY. Breathing in all the debris and smoke mixed 
In with burnt up office materials can cause serious  respiratory sicknesses and much damage to the 
Lungs. The terrorist did not just hit the center of trade but have affected the health of many of those who were there that day on 9/11.