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Superfund sites - Essay Example

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Claremont Site: A Superfund Site within New York The superfund system is a fairly modern program instituted, directed and implemented by the United States in 1980. It was a critical response to the environmental threats generated largely by chemical plant companies in America…
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Superfund sites
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Download file to see previous pages Elfring and Gordon (n.d.) generally define the phrase “superfund program” as a long string of “interacting issues, conditions, and decisions” (p. 67). By issues and conditions, they mean to speak of the potential number of physical sites that are harmful, in the biological sense, to the surrounding community. Within this stage of in the many series of interacting issues, the data are also gathered in order to determine the state or condition of health and environmental effects of a particular potential superfund site. And by decisions, Elfring and Gorden imply the discretion or judgment of the superfund program management to categorize a specific/potential site for its eligibility or non-eligibility in the inclusion of NPL or National Priority List. That is, if the identified site has a high level of pollution and that it causes great harm to the social environment. Finally, the relatively last part of the series of the interacting decisions heavily comprises the program goals and evaluation criteria. According to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office (1994), the superfund program is tasked mainly to clean-up the waste hazards apparent in a site “contaminated with hazardous substances” which is administered markedly by the EPA or Environmental Protection Agency (pp. 1-2). A particular example of a superfund site is the Claremont Polychemical (CP) Superfund Site. Located in Old Bethpage, New York, this Superfund Site greatly spans 10 acres of land area (Environmental Protection Agency[EPA], 2002). In Figure 1-1 (Please see Appendix A), Claremont Polychemical Superfund Site is situated at the northern portion of the Bethpage State Park and at the northwestern direction of the Gold Course visible in the said region of New York. At the southwestern side of the Claremont Polychemical Superfund Site is the Old Bethpage Landfill (OBL) Superfund Site. Farther away from the OBL in the southwestern direction is the Nassau County Firemen’s Training Center. In terms of the hydro geologic setting, the Cretaceous Magothy Formation is placed underneath the CP Superfund Site. The only aquifer found in the Long Island, this formation -- which is located near the Claremont Site -- has the vertical length of roughly 300 feet below the ground surface. As characterized in the Cretaceous Magothy Formation, it is composed of unconsolidated sand, silt, and clay materials (Environmental Protection Agency, 2002). The sand material is largely found in the southern boundary of the site while the silt and clay are situated in its northwestern part. Further, Old Bethpage Landfill has an up gradient slope with respect to the Claremont Site. The Claremont Site was where the Claremont Polychemical Company (CPC) was formerly erected. The CPC was a manufacturing company in the late 1960s that widely produced chemicals or pigments of plastics, dyes, among other substances. Through tank and basin leakage, the company had contaminated the site with VOCs or volatile organic compounds (Environmental Protection Agency, 2002). In particular, tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene are chemical elements that spread out into the landscape. Not just the land mass salient in Old Bethpage, its groundwater was also affected by the sheer operation of the CPC from the 1960s to the 1980s. In 1979, it was discovered that the site was contaminated by hazardous chemicals. The environmental problem was complicated by the fact that Old Bethpage was composed of numerous wells. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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