1.Instances like what happened in Toms River, NJ to the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan and other cities around the country highlight the need for important environmental regulatory bodies to step up. If you were someone from one of these affected areas, how would you encourage public involvement in environmental protection?
2.How would you lobby your elected officials to prioritize keeping the place you live in safe and healthy, continue to adequately fund the EPA, and prevent corporate negligence?
3.Who would you work with in order to do this?
4.What facts and testimonies would you highlight to underscore the importance of your arguments when lobbying your elected officials or working to increase public knowledge and involvement?
Pollution Cases and Prevention
It is important to set up environmental regulatory bodies responsible for assessing how hazardous substances are, and the risk they present to the citizens and the environment. First, these agencies will implement all environmental laws passed by Congress. Second, these agencies will develop policies for source reduction and conservation techniques that gather and distribute information to the population and the industries to prevent or reduce any pollution at the source. The dwellers of the affected area have crucial information to share about their surroundings. Therefore, they can be encouraged to take part in enhancing a clean and healthy environment by ensuring that the cleanup exercises address their concerns. Additionally, the public should be given room to decide on the cleanup and conservation methods to be adopted, and the future use of the cleaned up areas (Environmental Protection Agency 3).
The elected officials can develop several pollution prevention and control legislations outlining the measures that individuals and industries as well as other stakeholders should take to enhance a safe and healthy environment. In addition, they should develop a cleanup fund that will provide the resources and financial support to the enforcement and cleaning up parties. Further, they should enact a law that holds industries responsible for corporate negligence.
Promoting a clean, safe and healthy environment is an effort that involves several stakeholders such as the states, federal agencies, communities, contractors, and potentially responsible parties. The case of Tom Rivers, Flint and other cities underscores the need for pollution prevention at all costs. For instance, the Ciber-Geigy Company and other companies negligently discharged solids and liquids such as the waste water treatment sludge, chemicals and by-products from dyes, epoxy resins manufacturing directly into the Toms River. As a result, these pollutants contaminated the water and air and the soil exposing citizens to health risks such as the reported cases of children cancer (Link TV).
Environmental Protection Agency. “The superfund cleanup program.” n.d. Environmental Protection Agency. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/thesuperfundcleanupprogram.pdf. 14 November 2018.
Link TV. A town fights back: The Toms River story. 12 September 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtENUFwoT4s.