Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Erosion Control, Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans

CLEAN AIR ACT

Air pollution is a critical factor to consider in an environment where various forms of living things prevail. Previously and currently, the atmosphere has been contaminated by various forms of air pollutants from diverse sources most probably, construction companies. Hence, the federal government has responded on this issue in different scopes, creating rules and regulations to help curb the ongoing disaster of air pollution. The effects of air pollution have been termed as hazardous, and if condition persists, more impacts that are beyond control might be experienced in various parts of the world, caused by global warming (Palmer, 2015). Therefore, the clean air acts put forward by the government will help and have assisted in regulating the increased rates of the pollution of air that has been facilitated by construction companies and other institutions t large. This paper will discuss the laws or rules that have been put in place to regulate air pollution. The sources of air pollution and specifically construction management or engineering departments related to construction, e.g., civil and mechanical will also be discussed. The effect of air pollution on the job sites of construction companies and the environment at large and how the companies have responded to the clean air act will be reflected upon. It will also touch on how air pollution can be controlled or reduced to create a better world to live in.

It will be essential to discuss on sources of air pollution and to be more specific, construction management, and the effects they cause on the construction job sites as part of the environment (Burtraw,2015) Later, it will be revealed how the clean air act has played its role in regulating such instances of air pollution cases conducted by the construction companies and the strict acts of law that have been put in place for companies or institutions that go against the law.

Air pollution is a practice whereby, harmful substances in the form of dust particles, moisture and gases have been released into the atmosphere of the earth. Emission of such particles happens mostly when human being in different parts of the world carry out their activities as a means of survival. They include Construction of houses to create shelter, offices, and business institutions, schools and hospitals, and marketplaces. Also, infrastructure in the transport and communication industry, e.g., highways, railway lines, and stations, airports, and seaports etc. Have been constructed. When such activities are ongoing, they may employ various mechanisms to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of their projects (Paul, 2015). They may also involve other departments such as mining and raw material companies relevant to their field of activities, that is construction. Therefore, it is evident that pollution of air is as a result of the chain of events which includes various departments in one way or another.

In scenarios where construction companies intend to create a job site, the may be required to carry out the land reclamation process. It entails clearing of a particular land which might be inhabited by vegetation such as trees, thickets, shrubs, bushes and other types of plant materials. It occurs when a site is needed for construction of roads (highways), railway, port, a building and other forms of infrastructure that a construction company may intend to put up. The primary reason for land clearing is to enable them to mark the job site as per the project they intend to establish. Clearing of land is a major causal factor of air pollution. When vegetation is cleared, the carbon cycle is interrupted. Carbon cycle consists of a pattern in which gasses, specifically carbon and chlorofluorocarbons, rotate in the atmosphere in a balanced manner by the help of existing green plant vegetation available on the surface of the earth. Hence, clearing of vegetation breaks or alters the normal process of the carbon cycle (Pan, 2015). It leads to excessive accumulation of harmful and toxic gasses in the atmosphere that lead to the greenhouse effect.

The toxic gasses which include carbon monoxide, nitrogen ii oxide, Sulphur oxide, chlorofluorocarbons, etc. are occasionally released by machines, vehicles, mining sites, manufacturing companies, all who have direct or indirect relationships with construction companies. Furthermore, for a complete construction project takes place, various forms of machinery have to be employed together with manpower. They include; tractors, caterpillars, multitasker cranes, back- lift loaders, front-lift loaders, etc. most of the machines are diesel driven. Diesel is a carbon fuel which emits enormous amounts of carbon gases into the atmosphere during combustion hence causing air pollution (Greenfield, 2014). Lead is also released in huge amounts and has detrimental effects on matters of air pollution. Also, when the mixture of cement and sand is done in the manufacture of bricks and concrete, some dust particles are released into the atmosphere thus causing air pollution. In mining locations, where bricks, sand, and ballast are extracted from, the activity of mining machinery is thorough and continuous hence the rate at which dust particles and gases are emitted in the atmosphere is high hence promoting air pollution.

Contamination of air as a result of construction activities has numerous hazardous effect on the environment and the job sites of constructions too. As explained earlier, gases, moisture and dust particles emitted in the atmosphere have a major role in causing the greenhouse effect. It involves the excess accumulation of carbon in the atmosphere hence leading to the destruction of the blanket-like material known as the ozone layer. Also, the greenhouse effect leads to global warming which is a major causative agent of experiences in the irregular patterns of climate change in the current century. Climate change is the major and direct factor where effects based on air pollution are exhibited (Bodine, 2014). Impacts such as abnormal heavy rains, prolonged periods of sunshine have been observed. Their effect on construction sites and the environment are clear too.

To start with, floods, as a result of climate change, have led to mass destruction of property which includes roads, railway lines, buildings, airports and seaports, mining sites, machinery used during construction and many others. The negative impacts can increase to the extent of people working under various construction sites to lose their lives too. For a construction project to be established, a lot of planning, research, time, resources which include capital, machinery, and manpower have to be employed for that specific aim or goal to be achieved (Nowak, 2014). Moreover, a country develops when projects set by different departments in the government progress smoothly without major disruptions since all the required and necessary resources for the projects are often put in place at the start of every project. Hence, air pollution can be seen as a major factor that affects the progress of projects in construction management. Adverse weather conditions, as a result of air pollution, also have a significant impact on construction management. A smooth process of construction of facilities on job sites cannot take place when harsh weather conditions are being experienced. Such conditions include prolonged periods of fog and mist, prolonged cold, snowing periods taking more time than normal, and prolonged periods of sunshine. Excess sunshine periods has a scorching effect on manpower under an ongoing construction project, etc. likewise, such conditions may alter the normal progress of projects and to some extent cause destruction if the project established by a construction company was on a critical stage of attention.

Indirect impacts of air pollution have been experienced in regards to construction management. As discussed earlier, pollution of air can lead to the destruction of the ozone layer (Hirabayashi, 2014). It plays an essential role in preventing harmful solar radiations from reaching the surface of the earth. The ultra-violet rays from the sun have dangerous effects on human beings in matters relating to skin diseases such as cancer among others. Manpower operating under the scorching sun are prone to contract some skin related infections. It can lead to a great blow in construction management when skilled workers in the company fall out of the job due to such infections. Again, it might slow the construction process thus delaying development. Training of new manpower in construction might take a lot of time having in mind that an ongoing project has to be completed in due time. Another indirect factor that isn’t common but is possible to take place is food security. Disaster-related to clime change due to air pollution, e.g., floods, may destroy the food reservation facilities like warehouses and silos. On the other hand, it is clear that a hungry nation cannot function effectively. Similarly, manpower in construction sites requires energy from food for the construction work to be efficient and effective. Hunger would lead to negative impacts as far as construction management is concerned.

Having discussed the sources of air pollution and their effects in construction management, it is now relevant to discuss the laws that regulate how different institutions are supposed to behave towards the air pollution concept.

Initiation of the clean air act aimed at controlling the pollution of air in the USA. It was approved in 1963. However, amendments relating to the act were added later, specifically 1970 and 1990 respectively (Shadbegian, 2014). It entails an inclusive program that focused on lessening of ambient origin specific pollution of air, that is minimizing the rate of pollution from sources or sites that have already been identified. The act was then amalgamated in the USA codes; Title 42 in chapter 85.

Back in 1963, the act offered federal investigation support, emphasized the enhancements of agencies controlled by the state, and involved the government in pollution matters experienced within the state. The first role of the federal government in the policy took place in 1965 where the adjustment obligated the departments of education and health to build and administer release standards that would be followed. In 1970, the act gave actual supremacy to the central government and not to states as it had done earlier. The same act formed the foundation of the united states control strategy of the pollution of air. It had some components which included;

  • Putting the national ambient standards of air quality which aimed at protecting the environment and human health. They were developed by the EPA and they specifically aimed at chemicals that polluted the air.
  • Establishment of a new basis of performance standard by the EPA that would define what extent of pollution by construction industries and other companies in various regions would be allowed.
  • Control of emissions that were released automatically and aimed at reducing of different gases by a huge percentage through specification of standards by the act.
  • Encouraging states to initiate plans that would lead to the achievement of the set standards and emphasized the approving of the standards by the EPA. Failure of the state to follow the laws of creating plans, the EPA would enforce laws for the sake of that state.

Consequently, more modifications regarding the act were added in 1977. They targeted the states that were not able to achieve the objectives laid at the national level on automatic emissions and procedures to avoid deterioration of the quality of air in regions where the air was always clean in the past. The final amendment to the act was done in 1990 (Wolverton, 2014). It focused on environmental related issues like ozone layer destruction, toxic contaminants, and acidic rain. The formation of acid rain was to be regulated minimizing the emissions of particular gases like carbon dioxide. The immense decrease in the release of gases also targeted to control the depletion of the ozone layer and dangerous effects toxic contaminants release.

Since 1990, the EPA is still greatly responsible for putting in place standards that enforce cleansing of the air. However, regulations of air pollutants take place at the local and state stages. Another function of the act is to define the responsibilities of the EPA which include the decline in the destruction of the ozone layer and improvement of the quality of air in the atmosphere.

EPA also create limitations on various pollutants of the air. It defines the amount pollutants that are expected to be in the atmospheric zone of the USA. The act assigns the EPA supremacy to regulate emissions that pollute the air emanating from construction companies, chemical plants, practicalities, and other factories like steel mills (Freedman, 2015). States have the independence of setting their laws in regards to the pollution of air but should not be weaker than those emphasized by the EPA.

However, EPA must scrutinize the unique laws created by states and local agencies to regulate the high rate of air pollution. If the minimum requirements that are necessary are not met, authorizations are issued contrary to the state by the EPA, and if necessary, it can replace the state administration responsible, in implementing the original Clean Air Act in that region.

Programs implemented by EPA aims at eradicating pollutants emanating from sources that are stationary which include power systems, sources that are mobile, e.g., planes, cars, trains, etc. EPA must work for hand in hand with state and local agencies in the identification of regions that don’t meet the specific limits for common pollutants of the air. Plans and procedure must be created to clean up the pollutants in construction sites, factories, industries and other pollutants sources.

For the various sources to reduce pollution, construction managers are required to use machinery whose engines are cleaner and which use cleaner fuels from producers. Regions with adverse air pollution incidences should embrace the maintenance and inspection programs for passenger vehicles. EPA has given out rules to govern private and passenger service vehicles that will eventually minimize the rate of release of air contaminants (Freedman, 2015).

EPA also gives instructions that aim at reducing gasoline emissions under the authority of the clean air act. It also requires that regions under intensively destroyed ozone layer to adopt the usage of gasoline that have been undertaken through the process of reformulation to minimize the pollution of air. Catalytic lead converters should also be fitted in exhaust pipes of vehicles if the gasoline in the car has not been reformulated. Lead pollutants lead to smog formation.

The act also emphasizes on the sale of substitute fuels (Lang, 2015). They include transportation fuels instead of diesel and gasoline. Some other forms of fuel are purer than diesel and gasoline. They include biodiesels, methanol, propane and several others. They are biodegradable and minimize emissions related to carbon. EPA is required to inaugurate programs that should be dealing with renewable fuels in the nation and at the same time try to eliminate fuels rich in carbon.

Cleaning of engines and introduction of Low-Sulphur fuel has been enforced on individuals who own non-road and on-road cars. In this manner, pollution is addressed in a wider scope which includes marine vessels, tank engines, and small garden tools.

Conformism requires being established in accordance with the act. Projects in the field of construction management, e.g., highways constructions, subway and transit lines constructions cannot be funded by the federal government lest they conform with regulations placed by the state on pollution of air. They insist that such projects should not in one way or the other create new desecrations of the quality standards of the air by deteriorating the prevailing ones or by adjourning the accomplishment of the quality standards of air.

It is also a requirement by conformity that transportation schemes in regions that have a poor quality of air should study the long-term impacts of air quality on their schemes of transport and ascertain that they are closely related or alike to those in regions with good quality of air (Samoli, 2013). EPA, local agencies, and states must cooperate to ensure that the pollution of air is controlled. Prevention is better than cure. Some of the effects of pollution are too extreme in that they unrepairable.

To conclude, it is evident that the law has a major role in making sure that air pollution is contained. Effects of air pollution have also been focused on. Most of them are too costly to handle than to prevent them. The laws limit various institutions in emitting pollutants in the air. Some of which include construction companies. The law also proposes the favorable options and ideas to follow with the aim of combatting air pollution. The presence of clean and good quality air improves the health of environment at large, and hence projects set to happen in construction management are implemented smoothly. Tree planting is an important practice that can’t be ignored in the regulation of air pollution. Finally, the construction companies should adhere to the rules and regulations of the law for efficient flow of projects that are bound to happen to enhance further development of the country.

CLEAN WATER ACT

Water is an essential requirement for life. Any living organisms on the surface of the earth cannot survive in one way or another without water. Moreover, water covers the largest portion of the earth which accounts for around 70%. Therefore, water management regarding usage and pollution have been reflected on greatly to ensure water sources are protected from all sorts of pollution. Laws have also been enforced, targeting the proposed sources that could be polluting water in one way or another.

Construction management department is one of the sources to get concerned with when discussing the topic of water. Both aspects, have a significant relationship on impacts related to pollution and destruction. Construction companies have a great effect on pollution of water. Also, water has a great impact on construction sited and structures in an indirect and direct way. Therefore, this paper will discuss on water pollution and the sources of water pollution, construction companies being one of the major sources. It will also elaborate the effects of water on construction sites and how to regulate them. Thirdly, it will focus on the measures that construction companies should apply to curb the activities of water pollution.it will also venture on the clean water act put forward by the federal government to control water pollution in the country at large. Finally, the paper will discuss the effects of water pollution on living organisms on the earth surface and how it indirectly affects the construction companies.

Water pollution is the act of contamination of various water sources by adding or depositing toxic or unwanted substances in water sources or drainage pathways that direct water into their source. In discussing water pollution, both surface and underground water play a significant role in determining how water has been polluted (Milazzo, 2016). It is as a result of a direct relationship that exists between surface water and underground water. When surface water is polluted, underground water is prone to pollution in the same manner since most of the surface water is infiltrated to the lower ground levels.

To start with, there are various ways and sources of water pollution in regards to construction companies. They include pollutions from oil and diesel, paint pollution, solvent pollution, cleaners’ pollution and erosion of soil and other toxic substances from construction sites by the wind. The eroded substances are then deposited in various water bodies.

Oil and diesel are one of the major aspects that lead to water pollution from construction sites. Various machinery used in construction sites are diesel driven (Sawyer, 2013). Their engine systems use oil for cleaning and lubrication purposes. Some of the machinery include tractors, bulldozers, crane lifts, lorries, back-load lifters, front-load lifters, etc. in several instances, oil may spill on the surface of the earth, on the job site. The spilled oil is then carried to water bodies through surface run-off hence leading to water pollution. Also, a reasonable percentage of water from surface run-off is sucked into the ground through the process of infiltration thus forming a part of the underground water. In this manner, the underground water is said to have been polluted.

Paint pollution takes place when several unsealed paint containers on a construction site are carried away accidentally by surface run-off as a result of the flood or heavy rains, and directed to water bodies. A mixture of the paint with water lead to contamination since most of the paints is made up of the toxic component. Wet paint on a building might also be washed off by rainwater and result in being drained into a water body by surface run-off or infiltration into the ground to mix with the groundwater. Such incidences lead to water pollution.

Solvents and cleaners in the construction site might also contribute to water pollution. Solvents are materials that are in chemical form and are used to dilute or dissolve insoluble substances in water. They may function as fuels to some extent (Privette, 2013). Some examples of the commonly used solvents include xylene, white spirit, hexane, petroleum spirits, etc. when driven to water sources through surface run-off, or through infiltration caused by stagnation of water on the construction site, they lead to water pollution. Cleaners are also in the form of chemical spirits and pollute water in the same way as solvents.

Erosion is a major aspect to consider in matters pertaining water pollution. For a job site to be created, clearing of vegetation must be done in most cases. Vegetation cover is essential since it reduces or minimizes the exposure of soil to agents of erosion like wind and water. Therefore, clearing of vegetation on a construction site leads to erosion of soil which is then directed to water bodies leading to siltation and also turbidity (Gross, 2014). Turbid water pathways are always sunlight-proof hence lead detrimental effects on living organisms living in water bodies.

Also, heavy rains and floods may lead to surface run-off that may erode construction materials that are not properly stored or covered. Some of the construction materials like cement, ballast and other toxic substances are major participants in the pollution of water.

Having discussed the various ways in which water pollution takes places concerning construction management, it is important to venture on the various effects of water pollution in the environmental ecosystems at large. Impacts of water pollution are greatly felt by living organisms in the environment which includes human beings, animals, sea creatures, and plants. Human beings consume underground water which is retrieved through drilling. Pollution of underground water can, therefore, lead to health problems associated with water. They include ulcers, typhoid, schistosomiasis, dysentery, guinea worm disease, etc. such diseases are responsible for a death toll of around 3 million per year in the world. Hence, it might affect construction management where some skilled individuals might fall victims in the death count, unfortunately. It might delay the progress of the project since it is time-consuming to recruit new employees into a new industry of job. Water pollution has also affected wild and domestic animals which feed on water sources that have already be contaminated by various agents of animals. Death of some animal species that are almost getting extinct can be a major blow to the nation and the geography world. Marine creatures can also be affected greatly by pollution of water. Most of them die hence increase the pollution rate due to awful water smell from water and air. Some marine creatures are also a source of food to most individuals in the nation. Hence the death of the organisms as a result of pollution can be a blow to the food industry that affects the construction agencies indirectly. Many resources are put in place to clean the already contaminated water. It might reach the extent of previous other projects like those in the construction management to deal with the water pollution crisis.

On the other hand, water has serious effects on construction management that would lead to hazardous consequences if not taken into considerations. The effect of water on building sites might be slow but the results might to 100% loss and destruction (Hayes, 2013). The effects are mostly based on the groundwater which has a direct relationship to the water found on the surface of the earth. The following are some of the effects of water on construction sites; flooding, swelling, chemical attack, dampness, cracks and hydrostatic pressure that causes uplift.

Flooding is a phenomenon that is characterized by a vast amount of water flowing on the earth surface as run-off, caused by heavy rainfall. Most probably, it is experienced on ground levels that appear raised, flat and the presence of blocked systems of drainage hence leading to accumulation of water at one point. Heavy rains experienced for a long period can be as a result of climate change caused by air pollution. Consequently, floods lead to the damaging of materials and constructed structures which can lead to the total downfall of a building. Forces subjected to the building by floods may lead to the formation of cracks that may hence affect the stability of that particular building.

Swelling is another damaging effect caused by water. When groundwater increase in level, clay soil on the construction site tend to absorb a lot of water hence leading to swelling of structures constructed with clay materials (Sawyer, 2013). Such conditions might cause a significant building difficulties based on stability. Continuous occurrence of such conditions may lead to collapsing of the constructed structures thus creating a huge loss.

The hydrostatic pressure of uplift caused by underground water is another factor to consider in matters pertaining water-construction sites relationship. If groundwater starts approaching the surface of the earth on a construction site, the basement foundation of a building may exhibit a decline in the bearing capacity of a significant percentage, usual twenty-five to fifty percent. It creates some lines of weaknesses that challenge the stability of the building. Since the complete impact on a building takes a while to reveal itself, the resulting damage may be hard to recover from or repair.

Ares with high groundwater is prone to have a higher sulfate concentration in water. Thus, if the water manages to get into contact with the basement of a construction structure, weak faults might be formed and hence affect the construction stability. Continuous formation of cracks as a result of high Sulphur concentration may lead to the breakdown of the building leading to total damages.

In construction sites where groundwater rises regularly, the earth surface is prone to wetness and softness of soil. Thus, soil with clay characteristics may accumulate the site (Privette ,2013). As explained earlier, the clay soils have a habit of swelling when ground water rise closer to the surface of the earth. The same soil may shrink if the level of groundwater moves deeper into the ground. The swelling and shrinking patterns of the clay soil develops some lines of weaknesses on the building walls of the basement. Thus, the stability of the building deteriorates gradually and collapsing may result later.

Dampness is another effect caused by groundwater. It the moisture mount that accumulates in the base of construction structure (Kunkel, 2013). Capillarity is usually the process in which groundwater rises to the walls and floors of a building. Wetness creates a stuffy condition in the building which makes very uncomfortable for people to dwell on it.

Having discussed the effects of water on construction sites, and the different sources or agents of pollution of water, it is relevant to discuss the laws that the regulate the pollution of water and the measures they have put in place to cleanse the water and prevent further pollution. The clean water was developed by the federal government to regulate water pollution in the United States.

The act was initiated in 1948 as the federal water pollution control act but was later expanded in the year 1972 and entitled as the clean air act. Its sole purpose of creation was to regulate the standards of water found on the earth surface. The EPA department was then created to operate under the CWA, whose purpose was and is to make sure that the set rules and regulations are followed strictly by the state and local agencies. Several schemes have been created under EPA which entails setting standards on wastewater for industries. Standards for improving the water quality have also been set for pollutants that exist in water, on the surface of the earth.

The EPA operating under the clean water act enforced that it is unlawful to release any contaminant to any form of flowing water that may lead the contaminants into the water bodies. It would not be accepted unless permission was granted by the law. The national pollutant discharge elimination system created by EPA grants permissions of controlling discharges to schemes that have been established.

Trenches and pipes created by human beings are the distinct transferences. Homes belonging to specific individuals and that have a connection to the metropolitan systems, don’t have a discharge on the surface of the earth. Hence they don’t require permission from NPDES. Though, the metropolitan systems must acquire permits if there will any of their discharges flowing directly to the waters on the surface of the earth (Gross, 2014). The NPDES scheme created by the CWA controls the sources that release contaminants in the surface waters of America. Monitoring in the system incorporates a variety of skills obtained from monitoring reports from discharge reviews, compliance examinations and offers help to develop amenability with the permissions offered by the NPDES. They aim to discourse the major problems and to enhance amenability among the controlled community. The amenability examination manual gives info on how submission examinations are carried out.

Monitoring of submissions enhanced by NPDES scheme functions greatly at the level of the state. All except four states have been given authority by the EPA to instrument their own made schemes of the NPDES to regulate the pollution of water. It inspects the progress on the authorized schemes in the states and has straight-forward execution responsibilities of the states where authority have not been issued.

The compliance strategy provides by the NPDES of the CWA gives guidance on executions to regions under the EPA authority by explaining frequency goals of inspection done by the EPA (Hawkins, 2015). Permissions are granted to any organization that releases pollutants into the USA waters directly.

The clean water act has section 404 that controls the location of various forms of water. Their goal is to prevent and reduce fatalities to Everglades and to recompense for losses that are preventable using restoration and mitigation. There is always the division of labor between the Corps and the EPA in the implementation of section 404 (Dodge, 2014). Both schemes are accountable for on-site research and implementation of discharges that have not been permitted by section 404 of the clean water act. The functions of the two schemes are drawn in the memora.

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Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Erosion Control, Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans. (2018, Dec 18). Retrieved August 4, 2021 , from
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