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Pollution

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Environmental Pollution Scenario Summary and Review
Mary Thompson
SCI/256
September 21, 2015
Marquette University

Environmental Pollution Scenario Summary Muskegon County will fund pollution reduction programs, by utilizing the funding provided by America’s Clean Power Plan. We will have in place car pool requirements, carbon pollution standards for all power plants in the county, and provide the utility companies and industries access to information, guidelines and flexibility to meet our standards. The standards we have in place to reduce carbon dioxide emission will be assessed to insure the performance rates are on target. Recommendations to retrofit all city and school buses with pollution control equipment will result in the city receiving funding to complete this project. Infrastructure deterioration issues will determine any cause for concern related to traffic congestion, building code violations and the reassessments of bridges and roadways. Conversion concerns related to loss of open space on the Lake Michigan shoreline, and the parcelization of our surrounding forests will be discussed.
Environmental Pollution Review
The city of Muskegon has experienced, as you all know an unexpected growth in population. This increase in population can result in a myriad of consequences. Be assured our city will use the authority given and take advantage of those energy sources and the technology provided by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), to address the pollution issues and reduce carbon emissions. According to The Environmental Protection Agency ( 2012) “Reducing energy demand and increasing energy generation can lead to many benefits including increased electric system reliability, better environmental quality and human health, as well as cost savings and job creation (Environmental Protection Agency, 2012). CO2 Emission Reduction Measures will include the availability of Renewable energy certificates. Sometimes called green tags. The RECs will enable the public and private sectors to become involved with this successful program. The RECs can be claimed as an environmental benefit related to electricity use. There are many positive attributes to RECs: they are a source of renewable fuel, they keep a stable price, and have a small carbon footprint. There is also a tracking system to prove ownership and make any claims associated with the REC.
Pollution control legislation for point sources
Pollution from diesel vehicles causes a public health hazard that also pollutes the city and county air. Public School buses can be retrofitted with grants from Clean School Bus USA project. We can anticipate a rise in public transportation fares and the use of grants from the EPA to offset the cost to taxpayers by the retrofitting of the city buses. Pollution that is point source has the ability to cause the most harm to the ecosystem. These sources must be controlled by state and local legislation. Federal agencies may find the need to become involved when those agencies feel the states are not able to handle these issues effectively. The legislature have made rules and regulations that require businesses and utilities to report any pollution control issues and supply the ways they plan on improving or stopping altogether those sources of pollution. The legislature also offers incentives, which can prove to be very effective. Other strategies include management participation, which entails a person within the company working closely with government agencies to ensure compliance. This option is very successful in the terms of compliance. Especially when compared to the alternative of law enforcement involvement and other non-compliance fines.
When a source of air or water is identified as polluting and causing harm or other distress to the city and county then that pollutant can be a negligent point source. These can be pollution to the air from an industry or utility. Air pollution can be rectified by the use of control systems that remove particles from the air. There are also systems that concentrate on gas and vapor control. End of pipe pollution loads are those pollutants of water from a discharge outlet belonging to a utilities coal fired power plant, or discharge of waste from local waste treatment facilities. Removing any pollutant from water is not a simple chore. It will include physical removal and any approved chemical or other bio treatment method. When solid waste is involved, the route taken is landfill dumping or burning.
Encouraging alternative transportation
From the widening of city sidewalks, to giving all streets a bike path or lane, alternative transportation is a positive way to the future. With the launch in 2012 of our first community shuttle bus that runs on electricity, this concept has gained in popularity and exceeded all previous expectations. As an alternative, walking is gaining in popularity in the city. The wide sidewalks that are devoid of cracks and lumps make walking a very pleasant mode of transportation. Bike paths are also a clean and green transportation source. Bike lock ports at the numerous community shuttle stalls make parking the bike to ride to any part of the city a healthy and fun way to go green. The city offers monetary incentives to buy electric, there are also electric car charge ports throughout the city. These are free to use. Provided and maintained by the TESLA Corporation, these charge ports are the best incentive to the public. The city offers tax break incentives, and through the Greening of Michigan program, the state offers tax breaks to the public. The use of carpools is a very stress-free and cost efficient way to get to work or shop. When using carpooling as a source of transportation, it is an excellent way to reduce air pollution. Ridesharing and carpooling also reduce the cost of gas. It also is a way to network with friends, coworkers or other community members.
Improving roads
Road improvements can lead to exceptional gas mileage in automobiles and trucks. The energy that is saved is directly a result of how and of what those roads are made of. Making the choice to use either asphalt or concrete is an argument that many officials have to deal with these days. The infrastructure that is city and county roads and streets are hard to maintain. The budgets are even harder to reconcile. Asphalt is petroleum based and is bitumen. Asphalt is greener than cement. Cement is a carbon-based binder and cement manufacturing emits tons of carbon dioxide during its making. Concrete as a building and paving source is long lasting, uses few raw materials, and requires little upkeep. The concrete makers are researching ways to make their carbon footprint smaller. Some manufactures are now using fly ash and slag, from coal-powered plants and the steel factories. This will cut their carbon footprint significantly. In addition, a big factor in improving roads is the smooth issue. It is just common sense to know that when driving on a smooth road as opposed to a bumpy, pot-holed road, the driver will experience an improvement in fuel economy. These improvements happen at once. In addition, it affects all vehicles. Both sources of road improvements have issues though. The asphalt makers argue that their material can last upwards of 15 years. There is documentation that states the structures underneath the asphalt can be made to last as long as they want. The makers of concrete have said their product can last as long as 20-25 years. They have also determined that with proper maintenance the surfaces will remain smooth for the duration. There is the term born rough. Which means that in the life of the asphalt or concrete things happen. If while paving the road workers are not paying the appropriate amount of attention to the job, concrete will over time separate at the joints if the slabs are not even. Asphalt getter older will show signs of stress by producing ruts. Finally, every man made material will expand and shrink in the heat and cold, and be stressed by big trucks. Potholes and cracks are going to happen.
Promoting fuel–efficient cars When man made the fuel-efficient automobile, the world won the lottery. There are many benefits to their use. A big plus is the benefit to the environment. These cars are notorious for the savings on gas. People just get better gas mileage per gallon (mpg). This efficiency in the automobiles also produces very low emissions into the atmosphere. Sometimes these low pollutants can be as high as 90%. They also will cut the carbon dioxide emitted into the air by half. According to the U.S. Department of Energy: “Valve Timing & Lift Technologies improve engine efficiency by optimizing the flow of fuel & air into the engine for various engine speeds” (United States Department of Energy, 2011). Electric automobiles are very beneficial to the public and the atmosphere. It is well known that 75% of the chemical energy produced by the batteries is used to power the wheels. They do not put out any emissions. There is absolutely no dependence on foreign oil. They are extremely low maintenance.
Conversion, parcelization, and divestiture of forestlands in Michigan
The increase in population in Michigan’s counties and cities has placed a strain on the forests and trees. The Department of Natural Resources also works to maintain the ecosystem for the biodiversity it contains, and to reduce or eliminate any parcelization, divestiture or conversion. The increase in the human influence on our forests has been a benefit and a threat. The human influence has caused many changes to the forests and lands. Much of the growth in the forests is still showing signs of a process of recovery from the 19th century’s over-exploitation. Michigan’s DNR also deals with the pressure from businesses and some factories that have bought up large parcels of forested land. These private owners are actively fragmenting and using the process of conversion to turn forests that are active in growth and other functional process, into what amounts to backyard wood lots. Over half of the forestland in Michigan has private owners. Some of these private owners have begun the selling of their land to Timber Management Organizations (TIMOs). They have also sold a significant amount of their lands to Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). These buyers are now redeveloping the land and in effect destroying the forestlands. Michigan is losing open space on the shoreline due to conversion. Fragmentation, conversion and divestiture cause hundreds of thousands of forestlands to be lost. Big business has been known to pressure older, retirement age owners into selling their forestland to help with retirement income. We will retain ownership of shoreline property. Any easements related to forestlands that come up for sale will be offered to the surrounding cities and counties before being offered to the public/private sector.
Conclusion
Our county and city will fund pollution reduction programs, by utilizing the funding provided by America’s Clean Power Plan. The standards we have in place to reduce carbon dioxide emission will be reassessed to insure the performance rates are on target. Recommendations to retrofit all city and school buses with pollution control equipment will result in the city receiving funding to complete this project. Infrastructure deterioration issues will determine any cause for concern related to traffic congestion, and the reassessments of bridges and roadways. Conversion concerns related to loss of open space on the Lake Michigan shoreline and the concern of parcelization of our surrounding forests are important issues.

References

Environmental Protection Agency. (2012). Air Pollution Training Institute. Retrieved from http://www.apti-learn.net/LMS/EPAPlanPage.aspx
United States Department of Energy. (2011). Energy Efficient Technologies. Retrieved from http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/tech_adv.shtml

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