Welcome Students!

The only conspiracy… is ignorance of the obvious things we choose to ignore

Discussion:

  • Why am I talking to you?
  • What is Hazardous, Toxic and what does that mean to you
  • History of Environmental Protection in your backyard
  • Fun and Facts about Water!
  • Water and what we are doing to protect it
  • How you can protect you and everyone you know

A Brief History of Environmental Protection

Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW)

  • The Clean Air Act of 1963
  • Air Quality Act of 1967

HEW’s National Air Pollution Control Administration (NAPCA) and Interior’s Water Quality Administration (FWQA)–represented the core of the federal government’s
pollution-control apparatus prior to the birth of EPA. The air program was founded in 1955

This HEW program became the core of the EPA after a wide range of alarming problems: the suffocating blanket of smog covering greater Los Angeles; the 1948 atmospheric
inversion that temporarily raised the death rate in Donora, Pa., by 400 percent; a London “fog” in 1952 that killed 4,000 people over a four-day period

The Birth of EPA December 2, 1970
That year saw the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.
That brought to surface indiscriminate use of a combination of organic phosphate insecticides” could “interact” with lethal consequences and wound up causing a
revolution in public opinion. Skeptics then and now have accused Carson of shallow science that Silent Spring played in the history of environmentalism. The influence of her book has brought together over 14,000 scientists, lawyers, managers, and other employees across the country to fight the good fight for “environmental protection.”

Environmental Quality Council as well as a Citizens’ Advisory Committee on Environmental Quality.

His critics charged that these were largely ceremonial bodies, with almost no real power.
Stung by these charges, President Nixon appointed a White House committee in December 1969 to consider whether there should be a separate environmental agency. The
President had already asked Litton founder, Roy L. Ash, to take a sweeping look at organizational problems throughout the government.
It was at just this time that Congress sent to the President a remarkable bill known as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis)–
looking back at the “Environmental Decade” in 1980–called NEPA “the most important piece of environmental legislation in our history.” It is easy to see why.

In August 1970, they wrote: “Historians may one day call 1970 the year of the environment–a turning point, a year when the quality of life [became] more than a
phrase…”

It was in this atmosphere of intense concern for environmental issues that President Nixon delivered his 1970 State of the Union Address. Speaking to both houses of
Congress on January 22, the President proposed making “the 1970s a historic period when, by conscious choice, [we] transform our land into what we want it to become.”
He continued this activist theme on February 10, when he announced a 37-point environmental action program. The program gave special emphasis to strengthening federal
programs for dealing with water and air pollution.
Two months later, on April 22, the first Earth Day celebration brought 20 million Americans out into the spring sunshine for peaceful demonstrations in favor of
environmental reform. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.)

The Clean Air Act (CAA) of 1970

Congress authorizes EPA to set national air quality, auto emission, and anti-pollution standards. The standards led to the production of the catalytic converter in 1973 by New Jersey’s Engelhard Corporation. In its first 20 years, the Clean Air Act prevented more than 200,000 premature deaths by significantly reducing the presence of lead, sulfur dioxide and other harmful pollutants in the air.

Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement April 15, 1972
The U.S. and Canada agree to clean up the Great Lakes, which contain 95 percent of America’s fresh water and supply drinking water to approximately 25 million people.

Clean Water Act October 18, 1972
Congress passes the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, commonly known as the Clean Water Act. The purpose of the Clean Water Act is to restore and maintain our
nation’s waters by preventing pollution, providing assistance to publicly-owned wastewater treatment facilities, and maintaining the integrity of wetlands.

First Wastewater Permits Issued March 2, 1973
In the first action of its kind in the nation, the Indiana Stream Pollution Control Board issues EPA-approved permits to five Indiana companies.

Safe Drinking Water Act December 16, 1974
Congress passes the Safe Drinking Water Act, allowing EPA to regulate the quality of public drinking water.

Congress Creates the Superfund Program December 10, 1980
Congress creates the Superfund Program, holding polluters responsible for cleaning up most hazardous waste sites. The initial program designated $1 billion for cleanup
efforts.

Environmental Justice Movement Begins September 15, 1982
A PCB landfill protest in Warren County, North Carolina – a predominantly poor, African-American area – launches the environmental justice movement. Environmental
Justice is the fair treatment and involvement of all people, regardless of race or income, in decisions on development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental
policies.

‘Right to Know’ Laws for Chemical Safety October 17, 1986
Congress declares the public has a right to know when toxic chemicals that are released into the air, land, and water. President Reagan signs the Emergency Planning and
Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

 

Fun and Facts about Water!

Mess with adults!! Have them visit:

Dihydrogen monoxide (also known as hydric acid) is responsible for injury, death, and property damage all over the world. Visit the Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division online at www.dhmo.org,

Dihydrogen Monoxide (Water)

Is a colorless and orderless chemical substance that is a inorganic solvent

Only 2.5% of this water is freshwater, and 98.8% of that water is in ice

Over one billion people still lack access to safe water and over 2.5 billion lack access to adequate sanitation.

Water plays an important role in the world economy.
Approximately 70% of the freshwater used by humans goes to agriculture …Irrigation takes up to 90% of water withdrawn in some developing countries

Coal and nuclear plants, for example, may draw 20 to 60 gallons of water for every kilowatt-hour of electricity they produce, depending on how they are cooled. [2] Largely because of older power plants using this approach, electric power generation is responsible for more than 40 percent of freshwater withdrawals in the United States — on the order of 100 billion gallons per day in 2008
http://www.ucsusa.org/clean-energy/energy-water-use/water-energy-electricity-overview

The economic depression of the 1930s was longer and harder than any other in American history because it was followed by one of the longest and hardest droughts on record.
The decade started with dry years in 1930 and 1931 especially in the East. Then, 1934 recorded extremely dry conditions over almost 80 percent of the United States. Extreme drought conditions returned in 1936, 1939 and 1940. Walter Schmitt calls this the “double whammy” of drought and depression.
The drought made the Depression worse, especially in the Great Plains. The “Great” Depression

Great Lakes – Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron (or Michigan–Huron), Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth, containing 21% of the world’s surface fresh water by volume… one-fifth of the world’s fresh surface water (only the polar ice caps and Lake Baikal in Siberia contain more); 95 percent of the U.S. supply;

Ten Civilizations that Collapsed From Lack of Water

Collapse #1. The Akkadian Empire in Syria, 2334 BC – 2193 BC.
Collapse #2. The Old Kingdom of ancient Egypt, 4200 years ago.
Collapse #3. The Late Bronze Age (LBA) civilization in the Eastern Mediterranean. About 3200 years ago
Collapse #4. The Maya civilization of 250 – 900 AD in Mexico. Severe drought killed millions of Maya people due to famine and lack of water
Collapse #5. The Tang Dynasty in China, 700 – 907 AD. At the same time as the Mayan collapse
Collapse #6. The Tiwanaku Empire of Bolivia’s Lake Titicaca region, 300 – 1000 AD. The Tiwanaku Empire was one of the most important South American civilizations prior to the Inca Empire.
Collapse #7. The Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) culture in the Southwest U.S. in the 11th – 12th centuries AD. Beginning in 1150 AD, North America experienced a 300-year drought called the Great Drought.
Collapse #8. The Khmer Empire based in Angkor, Cambodia, 802 – 1431 AD.
Collapse #9. The Ming Dynasty in China, 1368 – 1644 AD. China’s Ming Dynasty–one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history
Collapse #10. Modern Syria. Syria’s devastating civil war that began in March 2011 has killed over 300,000 people, displaced at least 7.6 million, and created an additional 4.2 million refugees. While the causes of the war are complex, a key contributing factor was the nation’s devastating drought that began in 1998. The drought brought Syria’s most severe set of crop failures in recorded history,

 

Water Pollution

The first U.S. Clean Water Act, passed by a Congressional override after being vetoed by US President Richard Nixon in 1972, was a key piece of legislation,  along with the bi-national Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement signed by Canada and the U.S. A variety of steps taken to process industrial and municipal pollution discharges into the system greatly improved water quality by the 1980s, and Lake Erie in particular is significantly cleaner. Discharge of toxic substances has been sharply reduced.

Until 1970, mercury was not listed as a harmful chemical, according to the United States Federal Water Quality Administration…. Mercury has been known for health related problems such as birth defects in humans and animals, and the near extinction of eagles in the Great Lakes region.

The amount of raw sewage dumped into the waters was the primary focus of both the first Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and federal laws passed in both countries during the 1970s. Implementation of secondary treatment of municipal sewage by major cities greatly reduced the routine discharge of untreated sewage during the 1970s and 1980s. The International Joint Commission in 2009 summarized the change: “Since the early 1970s, the level of treatment to reduce pollution from waste water discharges to the Great Lakes has improved considerably. This is a result of significant expenditures to date on both infrastructure and technology, and robust regulatory systems that have proven to be, on the whole, quite effective.” The commission reported that all urban sewage treatment systems on the U.S. side of the lakes had implemented secondary treatment, as had all on the Canadian side except for five small systems.

However, those treatment system upgrades have not, contrary to federal laws in both countries, yet eliminated Combined sewer Overflow events. This describes when older sewerage systems, which combine storm water with sewage into single sewers heading to the treatment plant, are temporarily overwhelmed by heavy rainstorms. Local sewage treatment authorities then must release untreated effluent, a mix of rainwater and sewage, into local water bodies. While enormous public investments such as the Deep Tunnel projects in Chicago and Milwaukee have greatly reduced the frequency and volume of these events, they have not been eliminated. The number of such overflow events in Ontario, for example, is flat according to the International Joint Commission. Reports about this issue on the U.S. side highlight five large municipal systems (those of Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, Milwaukee and Gary) as being the largest current periodic sources of untreated discharges into the Great Lakes.

Phosphate detergents were historically a major source of nutrient to the Great Lakes algae blooms in particular in the warmer and shallower portions of the system such as Lake Erie, Saginaw Bay, Green Bay, and the southernmost portion of Lake Michigan. By the mid-1980s, most jurisdictions bordering the Great Lakes had controlled phosphate detergents, resulting in sharp reductions in the frequency and extent of the blooms.

In 2013, news of a garbage patch of plastic pollution in the lakes was released.

Water and what we are doing to protect it:

    • Engineering safer alternatives to toxic and hazardous chemicals
    • Water conservation utilizing green chemistry, grey water and use controls
    • BioEngineering to protect ecosystems
    • Regulations to reduce influence of evasive species and mass chemicals

How you can protect you and everyone you know

Where can you get more information about protecting people and our planet?

 

You never have to worry about your safety or health in Wisconsin

Onsite Safety & Health Consultation in Wisconsin

Research

 

 

Thank you for having me at your school and

helping make this world a better place!

Christopher Haase @ehsdirector
Director of Environmental, Health and Safety
www.linkedin.com/in/christopherhaase
Environmentally Sensitive Solutions (ESS) Inc.
ESS, Cleaning the world “One Solution at a Time”.
Toll-Free (877) 638-8725

Volunteer by night – Editor & Founder of

www.ehsnews.org @ehsnewsorg

www.chmmnews.org @chmmnews

 

References:

https://www.epa.gov/history

http://www.great-lakes.net/lakes/ref/lakefact.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Lakes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Lakes_Compact

Buckley, B.M. et al., 2010, “Climate as a contributing factor in the demise of Angkor, Cambodia,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 107, 6748–6752 (2010).

Cook, B.I. et al., 2016, “Spatiotemporal drought variability in the Mediterranean over the last 900 years,” JGR Atmospheres, DOI: 10.1002/2015JD023929

Cullen, H.M., and P.B. deMenocal, 2000, North Atlantic Influence on TIgris-Euphrates Streamflow, International Journal of Climatology, 20: 853-863.

Cullen et al., 2000, “Climate change and the collapse of the Akkadian empire: Evidence from the deep sea,” Geology 28, 379 (2000).

deMenocal, P.B., 2001, “Cultural responses to climate change during the late Holocene,” Science 292, 667–673 (2001).

Gleick, P., 2014, Water, Drought, Climate Change, and Conflict in Syria, Weather, Climate, and Society, published online 1 July 2014, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/WCAS-D-13-00059.1

Haug, G.H. et al., 2003, “Climate and the collapse of Maya civilization,” Science 299, 1731–1735 (2003).

Hoerling, Martin, Jon Eischeid, Judith Perlwitz, Xiaowei Quan, Tao Zhang, Philip Pegion, 2012, On the Increased Frequency of Mediterranean Drought, J. Climate, 25, 2146–2161, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00296.1

Kaniewski, D. et al., 2012, Drought is a recurring challenge in the Middle East, PNAS 109:10, 3862–3867, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1116304109

Kaniewski, D. et al., 2013, “Environmental Roots of the Late Bronze Age Crisis,” PLOS one, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071004

Kelley, C.P. et al., 2016, “Climate change in the Fertile Crescent and implications of the recent Syrian drought,” PNAS vol. 112 no. 11, 3241–3246, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1421533112

Ortloff, C.R. and A.L. Kolata, 1992, “Climate and Collapse: Agro-Ecological Perspectives on the Decline of the Tiwanaku State,” J. of Archaeological Science 1992, 195-221.

Wendel, JoAnna, 2015, Chinese Cave Inscriptions Tell Woeful Tale of Drought,” EOS, 1 October 2015

Yancheva, G. et al., 2007, “Influence of the intertropical convergence zone on the East Asian monsoon,” Nature 445, 74–77 (2007).

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