Ellsworth Industrial Park- Hazardous waste case study
The impacts of consumption and waste are often felt throughout residential areas in our cities and suburbs, and the problems associated with these issues and their toxic waste disposal, remain ever present in the modern generation. These may be due to past or present extraction and distribution operations, or waste disposal facilities such as transfer stations, landfills, or incinerators. Whether or not these sites are currently operating, they may hold the responsibility of detrimental effects on public health and the environment. Governments have struggled to come up with strategies that will ensure that pollution of the environment is done away with and that human safety in the environment will be an achieved objective (Okut-Uma 53). This paper thus focuses on a specific case or issue that concentrates on investigating the impacts of hazardous waste disposal and pollution on the environment.
The chosen hazardous case study in this case is the Ellsworth Industrial Park. The Ellsworth Industrial Park is believed to be among the earliest industrial sites in Illinois built around the late 1950’s. Presently, the industry has over 135 businesses. Apart from industrial properties, the surrounding of Ellsworth consists of residential, recreational and commercial properties. This means that the release of hazardous wastes from the industrial properties has significant impacts on the residential and commercial properties. The main responsibility of the site is to come up with clean up plans that will ensure that the negative impacts of hazardous wastes released from the industrial properties are done away with. The threats and contaminants in the site include volatile organic compounds such as perchloroethylene, trichloroethylene and trichloroethane among other volatile organic compounds. To implement the clean up, the site has come up with a remedial investigation and feasibility study which encompasses activities such as site reconnaissance, geological investigation and hydrogeological investigation. One of the key concerns uncovered in the case study about waste and hazardous waste disposal issues include effects of threats and contaminants such as volatile organic compounds that contaminate soils and underground water in the site. Besides, the other concern that is uncovered in the case study is how to clean up the contaminants (U.S Environmental Protection Agency 1).
The Ellsworth Industrial Park site is located in the state of Illinois, in the US. The industrial park was established with the aim of providing recreational, residential, commercial and industrial facilities to the residents in the state of Illinois. The residents had in the past experienced shortage of housing and recreational facilities, hence the establishment of the site aimed at resolving their problems. Moreover, the establishment of the site aimed at creating job opportunities for the residents at the site. It is approximated that the site has undergone rapid expansion and presently has 135 businesses that benefit the residents. The surrounding communities enjoy a number of environmental factors such as availability of space for expansion, presence of industries and commercial centers that have attracted a number of people to the site. The environmental factors have impacted the site and disposal of wastes in various ways. To begin with, the availability of space in the area has allowed the relevant authorities to choose the area as a site for disposal of wastes. Besides, the presence of industries in the area that release pollutants into the environment has prompted the relevant authorities to locate a waste disposal site near the industries. Additionally, the large number of commercial centers in the area has attracted several people to the area who have promoted environmental pollution; hence the relevant authorities have been forced to open a waste disposal site nearby (U.S Environmental Protection Agency 1).
The establishment of the site aims at cleaning the major pollutants in the area which include volatile organic compounds such as perchloroethylene, trichloroethylene and trichloroethane among other volatile compounds. Such compounds pose a number of health risks to the residents such as respiratory problems and skin problems among others. Therefore, to do away with the potential health risks, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) has come up with clean up efforts which include development of alternatives to address the contamination in the area. It is also worth noting that there has been community involvement in the process through the formation of a Community Advisory Group which focused on representing the community members’ interests. Of course, this was facilitated by the support from US and EPA support and funding (U.S Environmental Protection Agency 1).
It should be noted that the case study in this case (Ellsworth Industrial Park site) fits into the broader context of toxic waste and hazardous waste disposal throughout the country. This is because the case study discusses contaminants such as volatile organic compounds, their effects on the environment and how they clean up efforts should be put in place. The solution for handling toxins and toxic waste disposal is educating people on the importance of conserving the environment. Besides, policies should be formulated that control waste disposal by industries (Okut-Uma 54.
In conclusion, this assignment focused on the case study of Ellsworth Industrial Park and how it has come up with strategies aimed at cleaning up the threats and contaminants in the site. From this process, it was learnt that waste disposal has been and continues to be a major problem in the world today as careless disposal of wastes poses potential risks to human health and the environment at large. Presently, the challenges for the disposal of toxic wastes are that they cause a number of risks to the health of human beings and this should be brought to an end. For the communities affected by poor and careless waste disposal, the future is bright for them as the whole world has embraced measures and strategies that aim at combating environmental pollution completely.
Okut-Uma, R W. O. Pollution Control and Waste Management in Developing Countries. London: Commonwealth Secretariat, 1999. Print.
U.S Environmental Protection Agency. Ellsworth Industrial Park. 2010. Print. Available online at: http://www.epa.gov/region5/superfund/npl/sas_sites/ILN000508246.html