Paper Example. Environmental Assessment Questions

Published: 2023-01-22
Paper Example. Environmental Assessment Questions
Type of paper:  Course work
Categories:  Ecology Energy Pollution Social responsibility
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1402 words
12 min read

Some environmental occurrences are due to human impact, with some happening without human impact. The various stages of the scientific method are described below:

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Clean water: Instances of chemical spills occur, which contaminate the river, and the water becomes unfit for consumption. For example, back on 9th January, 2014. Approximately 100,000 gallons of the methyl cyclohexane methanol (crude MCHM ) chemical spilled into River Elk in West Virginia. The river is usually used as a source of water by West Virginia American Water, serving 300,000 people. The origin of the spill was from a leak from a storage tank operated by Freedom Industries, and people had to drive far to fetch uncontaminated water (Withgott & Laposata, 2018).

Energy production: Some of the energy used in the United States is produced through natural gas. Hydraulic fracturing, a technology used to draw natural gas up to the surface from thousands of feet beneath the Earth's surface, causes earthquakes in Oklahoma due to the injection of wastewater in hydraulic fracturing. Public health is then impacted by earthquakes in the form of building damage, infrastructure disruption, and excess stress on pipes and electrical lines. (Withgott & Laposata, 2018).

Invasive species; Zebra mussels brought in accidentally by ships from other countries mainly consume algae. In addition to changing the biological diversity of where they inhabit, they clog inlet pipes for water supplies and power plants, which is called biofouling

Unit I Question 1.3

There are several environmental technologies which were used to track the spread of the radioactive elements into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plants. To discover how the radiation reached the waters off Japan, "drifters" were released by researchers, which are small devices that monitor and move with the current and measuring the water which surrounds them (Withgott & Laposata, 2018).

GPS was used to track the drifters, which showed the currents' direction in a span of around five months. Tiny floating animals samples called zooplankton and fish were taken by the team, and then measured the radioactive cesium concentration inside the water.

Small traces of radioactive cesium-137, which half the material decays in about 30 years were traced inside the water, which was vastly left over following the Chernobyl accident in 1986 and the atmospheric nuclear tests in the 1960s. Nearly cesium-134 and cesium-137 both equal parts were discovered by the expedition scientists, with a half-life two years only. The cesium-134 which was "naturally" occurring was long gone.

Oceans per cubic meter of water naturally hold about 1-2 radioactivity becquerels (Bq), with a becquerel being one decay per second. Up to 3,900 Bq thousands of times more per cubic meter in the places nearest to the ocean shore were found, and for the sites 372 miles (600 km) away, 325 Bq was found, (Withgott & Laposata, 2018).

Unit III Question 3.2

In the city life, parks, and trails that conserve natural habitats, human population have technology that creates cleaner environments. In the country life, increasing population, however, requires more food, shelter, security, and means to procure them. Food initiatives for feeding the increasing population like GMO have been the alternative, which remains controversial to the environment. In the manufacturing arena, as more products are being manufactured, the result has been pollution. To encourage management, pollution prevention has evolved to include an emphasis on cost savings by encouraging source reduction. The use of fewer or less harmful products at the beginning of the production process has been introduced.

In corporate pollution, the many repair shops use TCE as a degreasing agent. The TCE has been recognized as a carcinogen. Even after stopping its use, residual TCE often stores as a waste product in drums behind shops and manufacturing plants. The drums were then exposed to weather and aged, developing leaks which contaminate the soil and groundwater which require massive amounts of money and effort to clean up. In city life, there is also a lot of traffic and vehicles that produce exhaust fumes. These fumes are harmful to the environment.

Unit III Question 3.3

There are a plethora of challenges caused by the human population, which needs several strategies to remedy or mitigate them. People often look towards technologies for solutions to challenges. Sufficient energy to supply the population is necessary. Renewable energy is a great remedy to those challenges (Withgott & Laposata, 2018).

Given the growth rate in the wind and solar energy industries in the United States, renewables are a likely more significant portion of the energy industry in the near future. There is, however, currently a large number of fossil fuel power plants in the United States as well as cars powered by diesel fuel and gasoline.

Technologies to improve fossil fuel emissions have grown as pollution concerns have grown. The Clean Air Act requires better pollution control devices. A scrubber system is a technology that uses a limestone liquid mixture for the purposes of removing sulfur dioxide from power plant coal-fired emissions. The result is cleaner air, but a solid waste; calcium sulfate, is produced. It is typically reprocessed or landfilled into drywall for building construction.

The other benefit of renewable energy is that it is sustainable. That means that it will never run out. Renewable energy requires less maintenance compared to that of traditional generators. The fact that fuel will be derived from available and natural resources means a reduction in the costs of operation. The method will thus prove helpful since the calcium sulfate produced is renewed and will be useful in construction.

Unit VIII Question 8.2

More than 100 countries and cities have bought in to the idea of adopting a sort of a growth boundary; a land development limit further than an area politically designated to help secure the open space, encouraging inner-city neighborhoods redevelopment, and to curb sprawl. Growth boundaries by statewide mandates have existed in Tennessee, Washington, and Oregon (Withgott & Laposata, 2018).

Urban-growth boundaries, nevertheless, are not an effective tool for urban growth management because they can be potentially negative, if unintended. With the reduction of the developable land supply, for instance, land prices and housing is likely to increase, which leads to a reduction in housing production and affordability. Local citizens and policymakers thus need to understand these tradeoffs nature and effects before adopting the growth boundaries.

Growth boundaries have not lived up to many of the objectives of the supporters. There has been a constraint in their effectiveness by preferences of persistence for detached homes, prospective single-families home buyers. Public local agencies have poorly coordinated as well. It has led to housing-price increases, with antigrowth interest groups being politically manipulative.

Therefore, urban-growth boundaries are not an effective approach to creating urban growth patterns/management. There are better ways like market-oriented approaches, which can produce many elements having fewer negative consequences and higher efficiency.

Unit VIII Question 8.3

There are various treatment processes used to make drinking water safe from sources such as groundwater or surface water. Water treatment generally consists of several steps. The steps are different for groundwater and surface water sources. Groundwater is naturally filtered through the aquifer material that it is drawn from. Aquifers that yield sufficient amounts of water for water supplies typically consist of gravel or sand. Sand is an especially good natural filter. Groundwater typically only requires disinfection and softening before it is pumped through pipes to homes and businesses, (Withgott & Laposata, 2018).

Due to flowing through gravelly or sandy aquifers, groundwater naturally has a high dissolved calcium and magnesium ion content. The calcium- and magnesium-laden water is safe to drink. However, the high concentrations of these ions can be detrimental to washing since they hinder the ability of detergents and soaps to properly lather.

Surface water sources require additional treatment steps to remove suspended matter. At a surface water treatment plant, chemicals are added to the water that causes suspended particles to join together and form larger and denser particles. These large particles then settle out in quiescent settling basins, and the water undergoes filtration through large beds of sand and activated carbon.

While the sand and carbon beds remove the large particles, the activated carbon also removes organic material from the water, which is responsible for taste and odor problems. Surface water generally does not require softening since it does not have the high calcium and magnesium content that groundwater has. Following filtration, surface water is disinfected and then pumped through pipes to end users.


Withgott, J., & Laposata, M. (2018). Environment: The science behind the stories (6th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.

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