Essay on Environmental Response, Compensation And Liability Act Of 1980

Essay on Environmental Response, Compensation And Liability Act Of 1980

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The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Superfund program was established by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 which was enacted after the discovery of toxic waste dumps in the 1970s. The law allows the EPA to clean up abandoned hazardous waste sites and to compel responsible parties to execute a cleanup effort or have the EPA perform the cleanup and have the responsible parties reimburse the government for doing the work. In 1983, the EPA placed The Tucson International Airport Area (TIAA) on the National Priority List (NPL) because of high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE) in the groundwater and soil. (Weiss, 2014). The Tucson Airport Superfund site covers approximately a 10 square mile radius and is situated in the northern portion of the Tucson Basin in Pima County, Arizona, south of the intersection of U.S. Interstate Freeways 10 and 19, and includes the south side of the city of Tucson. The site is divided into seven separate problem areas, the largest being Air Force Plant #44 (APF44), which covers 1,319 acres of land. “Prior to 1981, groundwater wells within the TIAA site boundaries provided drinking water for over 47,000 people.” (Chow & Bain, 2008)
In 1951, Hughes Aircraft, now Raytheon Company, began operating in South Tucson, Arizona. The company manufactured circuit boards as well as other products. Before the circuitry could be used it had to thoroughly cleaned, which was generally done with metal degreaser or other solvents, in this case trichloroethylene. The wastewater and used solvents were disposed of into unlined ditches, waste pits or ponds. (Chow & Bain, 2008). Over time, the waste...


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...However, once it became apparent that trichloroethylene was one of the groundwater contaminants and trichloroethylene was used by those companies, the companies should have owned responsibility and helped clean up the mess and provide relief to the residence who were negatively affected by the use of the contaminated water. If all of the potentially responsible parties had worked together with the EPA, the residents of South Tucson might be a little unforgiving. Unfortunately, I also think that Tucson will probably never fully recover from the knowledge that water was once contaminated. As a resident of Tucson, I am fairly confident that my drinking water is tested on a regular basis for contaminants and I know how bad plastic bottles are for the environment. Even so, I really have to talk myself into turning on that tap instead of reaching for a bottle of water.

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