By Harvey Blatt

ISBN-10: 0262515911

ISBN-13: 9780262515917

An obtainable evaluate of an important environmental concerns dealing with the U.S., with new and up to date fabric.

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Extra info for America's Environmental Report Card: Are We Making the Grade?

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Wastewater treatment plants downstream of pharmaceutical factories have exceptionally high levels of antibiotic drugs, opiates, barbiturates, and tranquilizers. Another pollution source is the storm water that runs off lawns, streets, and driveways. It contains motor oil, fertilizers, and pesticides that will eventually end up in the nation’s waterways. Impermeable surfaces like concrete prevent storm waters from soaking into the ground, which can trap potential pollutants. Many organizations, federal, state, and private, have examined our surface waters and groundwater, and their results are consistent and scary: half of America’s rivers and lakes are too polluted to safely swim in.

Thus, freshwater is a legal entitlement rather than a commodity or service provided on a charitable basis. Few people would quarrel with this. Access to fresh, clean water is a joint responsibility of federal, state, and local governments. Of course, the term access does not mean that individuals are not responsible for their own welfare, only that governments must be concerned about the essential needs of their citizens. Until the past few decades, access to clean water has been taken for granted by nearly everyone in the United States, a situation made possible by our geographical location and the circumstance that all of the coun- 32 Chapter 1 try’s major rivers and their tributaries have their headwaters within national borders—the Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri, Colorado, Columbia, and Rio Grande.

6). Control in principle does not necessarily mean control in practice, as illustrated by the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, where a blowout preventer failed on a well, causing the worst oil spill that has ever occurred in U. S. waters. Petroleum from 18,000 feet below the sea floor spewed into Gulf waters for three months, perhaps 200 million gallons. The cause of the blowout was human error. There were multiple warning signs, and safety procedures were not followed. All major oil companies have intensive safety programs and processes to prevent spills.

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America's Environmental Report Card: Are We Making the Grade? by Harvey Blatt


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