Environmental Science Paper

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HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT # 8
ROEDER- WINTER 2020- 4 QUESTIONS WORTH 10 POINTS EACH = 40 POINTS TOTAL
Santa Clara County has a long and storied history. Before it was known as “Silicon Valley”, it was called
“Valley of Heart’s Delight”- a rich agriculture area and the cradle of agriculture for California and the
United States.
All of that changed in the mid- late 1970, when the computer chip, or semiconductor companies all
came to the area to manufacture semiconductors for personal computers and other consumer products.
You don’t see many, if any, orchards any more. One of the manufacturing processes used in the
manufacturing on computer chips used a chemical called, TCE- Trichloroethylene. TCE is toxic and it
leaked into the water aquifers and into people’s drinking water. During this time, a number of
environmental laws were passed to protect human health. This week, you will explore the EPA, a
famous environmental case study called, Love Canal and Superfund Sites in the Bay Area- many of which
still cause problems today.
1) According to the LECTURE, EPA, LOVE CANAL AND BAY AREA SUPERFUND SITES, explain in a
STRONG PARAGRAPH and in YOUR OWN WORDS, what does the EPA do and what SPECIFICALLY
they are responsible for?
2) According to the HOMEWORK SUPPORT VIDEO, LOVE CANAL, a neighborhood and school were
built on a toxic waste dump site. In a STRONG PARAGRAPH and in YOUR OWN WORDS, explain
what could have been done to avoid this disaster. (Saying the toxic waste should not have been
dumped there in the first place is not an acceptable answer).
3) Take a look at the HOMEWORK SUPPORT RESOURCE, “WHAT’S DOWN”. Play around with the
interactive tools. On the map. Locate De Anza College in Cupertino. Click on the legend on the
right hand side. Click the “Spill Site, “Groundwater Plume”, and “Environmental Precaution”
boxes. Do you see any toxic waste sites on campus? If so, what was it before De Anza built the
College? Strong Paragraph answer NOT required.
4) Go Back to the LECTURE, EPA, LOVE CANAL AND BAY AREA SUPERFUND SITES, what exactly
does the Superfund Act do and areas does it address? Do you think it is effective? Why or why
not?
A) What does the Superfund Act SPECIFICALLY do? (STRONG PARAGRAPH REQUIRED)
B) Do you think it is effective-WHY OR WHY NOT? (STRONG PARAGRAPH REQUIRED)
What is Superfund?
Superfund Sites
• A United States federal law designed to clean up
sites contaminated with hazardous substances
as well as broadly defined “pollutants or
contaminants“.
• CERCLA- Comprehensive Environmental
Response, Compensation and Liability Act
• CERCLA’s broad authority is to clean up releases
or threatened releases of hazardous substances
that may endanger public health or welfare or
the (natural) environment
Superfund Sites
• CERCLA was enacted by Congress in 1980 in
response to the threat of hazardous waste sites,
typified by the Love Canal disaster in New York.
• Provisions:
– Removal Actions
– Long term response and monitoring
• November 2010– 1280 active sites in the US
– 347 were delisted
– 62 new sites were proposed
• $6 B in funds are allocated by congress to enact
Superfund
Toxic Chemicals we are exposed to
• Dioxin– By-products of industrial processes such as
bleaching paper pulp , pesticide manufacturing,
and combustion processes such as waste
incineration
– Causes reproductive and developmental
problems, birth defects, damage to the immune
system, and can also cause cancer
Toxic Chemicals we are exposed to
• TCE – Trichloroethylene
– Used in the computer chip/ semiconductor
manufacturing process
– Causes cancer, liver and kidney disease, dementia
and Alzheimer’s disease, and birth defects
Toxic Chemicals we are exposed to
• Asbestos
– Used in insulation and acoustic ceilings, plaster,
drywall, as a fire retardant, and in roofing tars
– Causes Lung Disease, mesothelioma, respiratory
problems

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