Regulating Toxic Waste Emissions: EPCRA Essay

Regulating Toxic Waste Emissions: EPCRA Essay

Length: 2532 words (7.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Research Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

I. Introduction

Regulating the toxic waste emissions of polluting organizations has been a costly and time-consuming element of environmental policy for as long as there have been restrictions on these emissions. However, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), signed into law in late 1986, set forth a number of standards that required polluters to disclose information about their emissions levels to the public and started a chain of events that has led to the creation of numerous information disclosure policies. One of the main thoughts behind these laws, aside from the benefit of increased public awareness of pollution in the community and the ability to plan for emergencies involving the wastes from polluters, was that with firms’ toxics use information available to the public, polluting firms would be motivated to regulate their own emissions in an effort to maintain positive public images. Many other laws were later passed with the same ideas in mind, so that there now are a number of different laws requiring information disclosure and encouraging self-regulation by polluting firms and facilities.
Information disclosure policies, as a relatively new concept in environmental policy-making, are quickly gaining popularity over command and control techniques. Subsequently, a fair amount of research has been conducted on whether or not this type of legislation is actually effective in achieving its goal of encouraging firms to self-regulate—some sources sing its praises, while others point out its flaws. This paper will discuss the background and regulation methods of so-called “right-to-know” and information disclosure policies, examine their successes and failures, and will provide an analysi...

... middle of paper ...

... Shimshack. “Mandatory Information Disclosure and Environmental Performance in the Electric Industry.” Harvard Kennedy School (October 2006). 26 April, 2009 < http://www.hks.harvard. edu/m-rcbg/papers/delmas_montes_shimshack_oct2006.pdf>.
Karkkainen, Bradley C. "Information as Environmental Regulation: TRI and Performance Benchmarking, Precursor to a New Paradigm?" Georgetown Law Journal (2001): 257-346.
Reibstein, Rick. “The Effect of Providing On-site Technical Assistance for Toxics Use Reduction: A Program Evaluation Utilizing Toxics Use Reduction Act Data.” The Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance for Toxics Use Reduction: Paul Richard, Director. April, 2006.
Von Oppenfield, Rolf R. Thomas F. P. Sullivan, ed. "Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act." Environmental Law Handbook. 19th ed. New York: Government Institutes, 2007. 773-819.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Minamata Bay Toxic Waste Essay

- The Chisso Corportation opened a chemical factory in Minamata, Japan in 1908. It was the most advanced chemical factory in all Japan for the first half of the twentieth century. Dangerous waste products, resulting from manufacture of chemicals, were released with the factory’s waste water into Minamata Bay. This caused immediate damage to local fisheries which resulted in two “sympathy” payments to fishermen in 1926 and 1943. The factory first started acetaldehyde production in 1932, producing 210 tons for the year....   [tags: Environment, Pollution]

Research Papers
1028 words (2.9 pages)

Waste Incineration Issues (the toxic emission, ashes and health problems)

- Bottom ash (clinker) is produced from the furnace and is 90% of total ash produced by incinerators. Bottom ash contains significant concentrations of heavy metals, organic-halogens and other chemo-pollutants. Fly ash is the tiny particles which are trapped by controlling equipment. Fly ash is produced less than the bottom ash. It is correct that “the cleaner the air emissions, the more hazardous ash production”. Temporary storages of these ashes usually are open pits or gears without any protection against wind and rain which cause serious health risks for those who work and live near the incinerator’s storage facilities....   [tags: toxic emissions, ashes, health problems]

Research Papers
1720 words (4.9 pages)

Essay about Managing A Toxic Waste Disposal Business

- Stan 's plan to operate a toxic waste disposal business as a sole proprietorship raises two significant concerns. As a sole proprietor, Stan will assume unlimited personal liability for all business obligations as there is no legal or practical separation between the business and the owner. Any financial obligations or legal torts would apply to the business, and also, his personal assets. Secondly, Stan, as sole proprietor, can only borrow money directly, limiting growth, and could be considered a risky investment for lenders when they assess his ability to repay the debt, and the nature of the business....   [tags: Corporation, Business law, Types of companies]

Research Papers
754 words (2.2 pages)

Electronic Waste, Or E Waste Essay

- Electronic waste, or e-waste, has become a rising environmental issue in the world today. E-waste is an expression used to describe unwanted, dysfunctional, or obsolete electronic products that are nearing the end of their useful life (“What Is E-Waste?”). The products encompassed by the term are a broad spectrum of appliances ranging from household items such as refrigerators, microwaves, and ovens to everyday modern technology like smartphones, computers, TVs, and stereos (“E-Waste Information”)....   [tags: Waste, Hazardous waste, Pollution]

Research Papers
1433 words (4.1 pages)

Royal Carribean Toxic Waste Dumping Essay

- ... Holst gives an apology given by Jack Williams, the Royal Caribbean international president, after being charged with the twenty-one felony charges. Williams makes a sincere sounding apology, however placed the blame on those enforcing the rules and regulations within the company, and not on the corporate employees. Holst also explains that the company was monitored by the court for the five years following the charges in 1999 (1999). As previously established this is, according to Friedrichs, a corporate crime....   [tags: chemicals, crime, cruise ship]

Research Papers
1260 words (3.6 pages)

Toxic Waste Sites in Texas Essay

- Major Toxic Waste Sites in Texas When thinking about the most polluted states in our country, California and New York instantly pop into our mind. What most people don’t know, however, is that Texas now ranks number one in most categories of pollution. Whether it be increased emissions from refineries in Beaumont, large pits filled with contamination at Kelley Air Force Base, or polluted water at Lake Sam Rayburn, Texas has more than its fair share of toxic waste. Exxon/Mobil, one of the nation’s leading oil producers, has its main refinery located in Beaumont, Texas....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
1017 words (2.9 pages)

Waste Management and Disposal Essay

- Management and disposal of hazardous materials has been a major recurring problem throughout the world for some time now. These problems have gotten worse since we found out how to improve the quality of radioactive materials. These materials now have the power to make total cities uninhabitable to humans just by one simple mechanical error. Waste management and disposal needs to be a priority for all countries around the world so that we can prevent any major event causing human loss of life from happening, and so we can have a healthy growing environment for future generations to come....   [tags: environment, hazardous, toxic]

Research Papers
624 words (1.8 pages)

Essay on E-waste Management

- While technology has revolutionized the way people live, it has not come without a direct environmental cost. Toxic waste or electronic waste (e-waste), produced by obsolete electronic products, is growing at an alarming rate, and poses a severe environmental threat. In light of challenges underlined by this new kind of waste, sound management is imperative. Although, America and Asia are economically very different from each other, ironically they do not differ much when it comes to the `mismanagement' of e-waste: unsafe disposition practices, lax legislation, and inadequate recycling....   [tags: Environmental Toxic Electronic Waste Technology]

Research Papers
863 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Hazardous Waste

- Hazardous Waste Hazardous waste and its proper disposal have become a major sociological problem today due to its capability of contaminating the area in which we live and its potential to be lethal to all living things. In order for the United States and the rest of the world to save itself from a potentially life threatening problem they must fix the causes which lead to the improper disposal of hazardous wastes and like materials. Some reasons that hazardous waste has become a problem in the United States today is due to the breakdown in enforcing laws for the proper disposal of such wastes, a lack of initiative on big companies behalf to spend money on proper disposal, and the ease of...   [tags: Chemistry Nature Ecology Waste Essays]

Research Papers
1552 words (4.4 pages)

E-waste Essay

- Over the past decade there was a prominent development observed in the sphere of high technologies production, so the scale of electronics market becomes wider and spins up from day to day. “According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), consumers were expected to purchase 500 million units of consumer electronics in the US in 2008. US households spend about $1407 per year on hardware.” (Electronics Takeback coalition, 2010) Accordingly, there is a clear tendency of rapid substitution of electronic appliances observed, as every other day producers offer consumers more efficient and powerful gadgets instead of their predecessors....   [tags: Waste Management, Disposal and Recycling]

Research Papers
1311 words (3.7 pages)