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Superfund Sites

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According to the US environmental protection agency a superfund site is “an uncontrolled or abandoned place site where hazardous waste is located, possibly affecting the local ecosystems or people” (EPA 2011). All superfund sites are cataloged on the National Priority List after a completion of screening process using the hazard Ranking System, and assessment of comments from the public and other stakeholder affected by the hazardous waste. Using the NPL provided by EPA, a close superfund site was identified located in Fayetteville, North Carolina, concerning chemical pollution resulting from flow of methane into the environment.

The hazardous problem, results from loss of methane from “a 2 inch process supply pipeline”, discovered “during inventory control measures” (EPA, 2011). Being adjacent to one of the main storm ditches in the area, which drains its water into the local river named Cape Fear, presented high pollution rates to the water ecosystem (Holder & Lee, 2007). Contamination of the river with methanol was confirmed by after testing samples of water collected from the discharging point of the storm water ditch. Subsequent notice of this problem was given to EPA by the NRC, with the company behind the environmental problem identified as Hexion Specialty Chemicals in Fayateville. The hazard created by the chemical company was however recognized as accidental.

The clean up exercise commenced with the replacement of the damaged pipe by the firm under instructions given by EPA, ensuring no more of the contaminant leaked into the environment (Holder & Lee, 2007). The next step involved cutting of the storm water, to prevent further pollution from the water draining into the river for a time of three days, with the water left to drain into the underground water systems.

I do not think anymore government policies should be passed to control such a kind of pollution because there already exist policies focused on these environmental issues. I believe the approach will be to strengthen the already established environmental policies being enforced by EPA concerning these hazardous sites.

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