Environmental Law Chapter 5 and 6
List and describe the harmful effects of the six conventional air pollutants.
• Carbon dioxide-it can have profound impact on the environment as it is very poisonous and contribute to very hazardous ground-level air and ozone states.
• Nitrogen dioxide-this pollutant is known to be a choking and obstructive gas in the air, and it has the ability to react with other agents leading to the formation of nitric acid and organic nitrates, causing acid rain to be formed.
• Sulfur dioxide-is known to cause respiratory problems, cardiovascular problems, eye and circulatory problems.
• Lead-it can poison humans as well as has a great effect upon natural ecosystems, leading to the contamination of soil, air, and water (Reitze, 2016). Lead can also damage flora and fauna.
• Ground-level ozone- affects human health negatively as well as affects the general health of numerous ecosystems in the seas and on land (Reitze, 2016).
• Particulate matter-this pollutant is linked to a range of lung, heart, and eye problems in humans. It is also associated with an augmented likelihood of developing cancers later in life.
Explain the difference between a conventional air pollutant and a toxic air pollutant.
A conventional air pollutant is characteristic of municipal sewage and for which secondary treatment plants of the municipal are usually designed. In contrast, a toxic air pollutant is known to cause cancer or other severe health effects like the damage of nervous or respiratory systems.
What is acid deposition?
Acid deposition occurs when acidic or pollutants that form acids in the atmosphere are deposited on the earth’s surface, and this can take place from any precipitation (like snow, rain or sleet), but also from gases, fog and dry particles.
How does the 1990 air toxins program differ from the program for controlling air toxins established under the previous Clean Air Act?Why is the thinning of the ozone layer a problem?
The 1990 air toxins program differs in that it has helped in phasing out the generation and utilization of chemicals that contribute to the hole in the ozone layer; and decrease the content of lead in gasoline, which has eventually led to the cut of lead air pollution by 92% since the year 1980 (Reitze, 2016). Thinning of ozone layer is a problem since it augments the ultraviolet radiation amount that reaches the surface of the earth thus increasing the rate of eye cataracts, skin cancer, etc.
Why are DBPs allowed by law to be present in water, even though they may be carcinogens?
DBPs are allowed because they play a critical role in purifying water, and thus decreasing the incidence of waterborne illnesses across the world. Furthermore, DBPs have been hailed as the main public health attainment of the twentieth century.
Why have the courts ruled that saving water through implementation of a conservation plan may not result in a recoverable appropriative right?|
This is because water in the country has not been traded in markets; as such, there is no significant approximation of what it would cost in the event it was traded. However, the failure to establish the value of conserved water may lead to the overuse and degradation of the country’s aquifers.
How does the regulatory burden differ for a discharger into a sanitary sewer compared to a discharger into natural water?
The regulatory burden for into a sanitary tower is regulated by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program because it is harmful. On the other hand, discharge into natural water is not that harmful and is thus regulated by the municipality.
What is the difference between riparian and appropriative water rights? Could these rights be applied to groundwater?
A riparian right cannot be lost by non-use. In contrast, an appropriative right exists without regarding the relationship between the land and water. In other words, an appropriative right is in general based upon physical regulation and beneficial utilization of the water (Reitze, 2016). These rights could be applied to groundwater. However, this is dependent upon continuous utilization and may thus be lost by non-use.
A growing movement across college campuses is to ban the sale of bottled water. Consider the reasons for and against this ban. Going beyond the rationale described in this chapter, is such a ban consistent with individual rights?
• Banning bottled water would lead to the decrease of waste and also protect the environment
• Banning of water bottles is good for health since plastic bottles are known to harbor toxins that can cause harm to humans
• The banning would lead to the saving of money
• Local water supplies would also be protected
• Banning of bottled water would eliminate a healthy choice leading to augmented consumption of sugary drinks that are unhealthy
• Bans do not actually decrease waste
• the banning negatively impacts small businesses
• Banning of water bottles is not consistent with individual rights because it denies the person the right to access the product they want.
Reitze, A. W. (2016). Air Pollution Control Law: Compliance and Enforcement.
Environmental Law Institute.