Posted: September 20th, 2022

Scholarly Activity

Part 5

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1. Open your current course project document, A Pollution Prevention Plan (P3) Pre-Assessment Study, from Unit V and review your grading feedback from your professor.

2. Make all necessary changes to update and correct your Unit V work, pursuant to your grading feedback.

3. Under the sixth level 1 (centered, bold) heading titled Pollution Prevention Technologies, re-create the table below to identify and align available pollution prevention (P2) control technologies for our project’s scenario. Provide at least two P2 control technology options for each ecosystem disturbance identified and bulleted in the table.

4. Be sure to consider the four Rs (reclamation, remediation, rehabilitation, and restoration), as well as your previously tabulated total maximum daily load (TMDL) limits, when selecting your control technology options.

5. Also, cite every control option in the table, using the CSU Citation Guide as your APA citations style guide

6. Under the Abstract heading on p. 2 of the project document, write a maximum of one sentence that reflects what you have addressed in the document for this particular unit. (Remember that we are continuing to add to the abstract with a single sentence for each mini-project assignment). Be sure to keep the abstract blocked (not indented) and double-spaced.

7. Leave the rest of the template blank after adding information for this unit. Remember that you will complete the final section (under the remaining level 1 heading) during our next unit’s assignment.

8. Under the References heading on the last page, update your references to include the source references that you used to inform your work in this section of your project.

9. You must use your textbook and at least one additional scholarly source (either a book or a scholarly journal article from the CSU Online Library databases) for each section of this document. Each of your sections’ content must be at least one full page in length, in Times New Roman 12-pt. font, double-spaced, with 1” margins.

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You have just been hired as the senior environmental manager for a large corporate agricultural complex in the midwestern part of the United States, and you will be responsible for keeping your organization in regulatory compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and your state’s department of environmental quality (DEQ).

You quickly realize that your company has several active effluent permits (one for combined stormwater/wastewater and one for solid waste hauled off-site) but no pollution prevention plan (P3). After visiting with the company’s executive team, you learn that they have never been alerted of the need for a P3, and they want you to fully explain to them why the organization needs one.

They have asked you to be as comprehensive as possible so that you can ultimately present this to the board of directors for approval. As such, you have decided to conduct a P3 Pre-Assessment Study to study and document the entire situation, knowing that this will help you learn the organization’s complete situation, even while being able to adequately convey it to the board of directors.

Your organization, ABC Agriculture Production, Inc., has the following general operational characteristics:

a. It is situated on 640 acres (one section) of land in southwestern Nebraska.

b. Adjacent to the 640 acres (to the west) is a private rancher’s property sustaining a commercially leased and producing natural gas well.

c. Adjacent to the 640 acres (to the east) is a small, actively running salt-fork of a major river (Platte River).

d. Confined animal feed operations (CAFO) barns and production offices cover approximately 160 acres, with separate, large, full barns for swine, chicken, and beef cattle operations, one feed mill, and six barn-discharge wastewater lagoons.

e. Corn and alfalfa hay fields span 320 acres, with groundwater irrigation wells supplying several large center-pivot irrigation sprinkler systems for both crops.

f. Gypsum (CaSO4-2H2O, or calcium sulfate dihydrate) and caliche (CaCO3, or calcium carbonate) open pit excavation mines are located on the remaining 160 acres, and the products are mined and sold by the truckload.

g. Crops are routinely fertilized with commercial nitrogen fertilizers, weeds are controlled with commercial herbicides, and pests are controlled with commercial pesticides.

h. Animals are routinely vaccinated (injection) and supplemented with vitamins and antibiotics (in both feed and water).

i. Deceased animals’ carcasses are disposed of in a pit and covered with hydrated lime (Ca[OH]2, or calcium hydroxide) daily, with weekly pit coverage for a complete carcass burial.

j. There is an EPA-registered National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit active with active outfalls for the CAFO wastewater lagoons and crop fields, operationalized as a combined stormwater/wastewater effluent permit. Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) includes limits for the following:

150 ppm

100 ppm

ND

ND

ND

a. Parameter

Limit

DO

> 11.0 mg/L (ppm)

BOD

150 ppm

COD

TSS

100 ppm

TDS

TKN

500 ppm

ammonia (NH3)

300 ppm

fecal coliform

non-detect (

ND

) (via EPA method 1681)

glyphosate (herbicide)

ND

atrazine (herbicide)

chlorpyrifos (pesticide)

malathion (pesticide)

Phosphorous (P)

2.5 ppm

Potassium (K)

1.5 ppm

Calcium (Ca)

2.0 ppm

Magnesium (Mg)

0.5 ppm

pH

6.5 – 8.5

pharmaceutical scan

0.0001 ppm (via EPA method 1694)

temperature

± 10% ambient water temperatures

oil and grease

15 ppm (via EPA method 1664)

turbidity

< 10 %

flow

< 5,000 gallons per day (gpd)

k. There is a hazardous waste permit for disposing of all discarded pesticide, herbicide, and pharmaceutical wastes.

l. Wind speeds average 12 mph, and rainfall averages 21 inches/year.

m. High/Low temps range from winter (40°F/14°F) to summer (91°F/63°F).

n. Average humidity is 65.8% with an average dew point of 37.9°F.

1

4

A Pollution Prevention Plan (P4) Pre-Assessment Study

Abstract

This undertaking entails a Pre-Assessment study on behalf of the board of directors at ABC Agriculture Production Inc; it explores the general operational characteristics, potential ecological health effects, potential human health impacts, potential societal health impacts, and risk assessment and regulatory requirements.

General Operational Characteristics

In this context, we will review the General Operational Characteristics of the organization. In essence, ABC Agriculture Production Inc. is located in Southwestern Nebraska, covering 640-acre land. Besides this land, particularly to the west, a privately owned rancher’s property harbors a commercially producing and leased natural gas well. A major river’s small active salt fork exists east of the 640-acre land. Production offices and barns meant for confined animal feed operations are presumed to cover an area of 160 acres; this involves separate large, full barns set for chicken, beef cattle, and swine operations, six barn-discharge wastewater lagoons, and one feed mill. Alfalfa and corn hay fields are presumed to cover 320 acres of the land; groundwater irrigation wells supply the irrigation sprinkler systems to sustain these crops. The remaining 160 acres manifest caliche and gypsum open pit excavation mines; these products are essentially excavated and traded by the truckload.

The organization primarily uses commercial nitrogen fertilizers to sustain crops, commercial herbicides to control weeds, and commercial pesticides to manage relevant pests. The involved animals are sustained through relevant administration of routine injections; antibiotics and vitamin supplements are also critically and routinely appreciated. Dead animal remains are usually disposed of in a pit; the pit has to be covered with calcium hydroxide daily. The facility manifests an EPA-recognized National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. It is often applied as a combined wastewater/stormwater effluent permit. Also, the organization appreciates a hazardous waste permit for discarding all rejected pharmaceutical, pesticide, and herbicide wastes. Relevant rainfall and wind speeds should be 21 inches annually and 12 mph, respectively. Humidity should manifest an average provision of 65.8 % and a dew point of 37.9°F. Furthermore, high/Low temps range from summer (91°F/63°F) to winter (40°F/14°F).

Potential Ecological Health Impacts

The primary ecological pollutants in this context involve TSS, ammonia, TKN, and TDS. Also, the involved herbicides and pesticides used in the site are presumed to manifest chemical pollutants such as organophosphorus, organochlorines, and carbamates, which manifest critical ecological health impacts. Mining activities relevant to the caliche and gypsum excavation sites can potentially lead to the leaching of calcium carbonate and calcium sulfate dihydrate to the nearby surrounding attracting potential environmental consequences. This includes disruption of the existing biodiversity as the surface gets cleared with eventual surface mines. The provisions of chemical oxygen demand and biochemical oxygen demand required in this context to oxidize and degrade relevant organic materials are presumed to be relatively enhanced; these substances manifest the capacity to potentially impede the degradation of released contaminants (Wu et al., 2018).

Deceased animal remains and animal feed operations manifest the capacity to cause enhanced levels of methane gas production. This may also involve the realization of extreme levels of growth hormones, animal blood, antibiotics, silage from leachate from corn feed, and pathogenic manure, which is detrimental to the environment’s well-being. The levels of the mentioned contaminants, especially heavy metals, herbicides, pathogens, and pesticides, may concentrate to the extent of leaching to the immediate surrounding with eventual critical environmental pollution. Additionally, the organization’s confined animal feeds operations may attract the concept of the disrupted ecosystem; the potential spread of pathogens and associated diseases in this context can interfere with the relevance of organisms and bacteria in the immediate environment, which may lead to an ecological imbalance.

Potential Human Health Impacts

The organization’s implications critically manifest the capacity to threaten the health and well-being of humans. This can be captured from the concept that it not only leads to the release of potentially harmful products but also threatens the immediate environment that harbors relevant people. For instance, the organization’s operations that favor the growth and sustainability of pathogens pose a significant threat to the health of the immediate population. These pathogens can attract critical human diseases as the ecosystem sustains disruption from the implications of the relevant pollution (Gwenzi et al., 2018). The relevance of gypsum and caliche mining activities also manifests a critical capacity to threaten the well-being of the immediate people. For example, the emission of extreme dust to the involved persons can attract essential breathing complications.

The unfilled mines may be breeding environments for disease-causing organisms such as mosquitoes; this may be revealed when the mines accumulate stagnant rainwater. Also, uncontrolled disposal of pharmaceutical, pesticide, and herbicide rejects manifests the capacity to threaten human health (Brusseau et al., 2019). For instance, these chemicals may find their way into consumable water and raw edibles; people can consume the chemicals indirectly, which proves to be a critical health risk. This is also emphasized by the heavy use of commercial fertilizers and supplements. Though these provisions tend to boost production significantly, they are presumed to amount to compromised consumables as their relevance to health and well-being is concerned. Essentially, the concept of potential toxication finds its relevance in this context since the mentioned chemicals are hazardous.

Potential Societal Health Impacts

The organization’s effluents can influence and corrupt societal health critically. This is emphasized by the relevance of emissions such as TDS, TKN, ammonia, and TSS. Accumulating these chemical substances in the environment can corrupt the well-being of the environment that harbors societal and global populations (Pervin et al., 2008). This is because they generally interact and compromise the essentials that sustain human life. For instance, when the mentioned pollutants deviate from the acceptable limits, they are considered harmful. An excellent example involves a situation whereby drinking water manifests high TDS levels involving heavy metals. It is presumed that such water may attract diseases such as kidney infections, especially when the amounts prove to be highly elevated. This proves to be a societal risk since the concerned water is accessible to the entire society. Ammonia may cause critical health issues such as burns and swellings in one’s airways and eventual lung damage. Since this provision is uncontrollable when released into the environment, it can affect many people indiscriminately, leading to a society that sustains an unhealthy population. This concept is still expressed by the uncontrolled disposal of hazardous chemical wastes, primarily pharmaceutical, pesticide and herbicide rejects. Whenever they are released into the environment, they manifest risk to society at large, not at a specific party alone. Another critical illustration involves the implication of the mining activities on the site; the generated dust by the involved machinery and automotives proves to be a societal threat. The dust, which undeniably has the potential to attract critical health complications, is sustained by the public.

Risk Assessment and Regulatory Requirements

The various activities and disposed of substances by the organization critically have an element of attracting significant risks and hazards. The concept of having the organization possess several effluent permits with no relevant pollution control initiative critically highlights the possibility of ignored risks. In essence, the potentially harmful implications should be evaluated primarily based on the well-being of the relevant internal and external population and environment (Zhou et al., 2019). For instance, the evident mining activities in the site can attract health complications emanating from released dust. The unfilled pits pose a danger of critical accidents; also, they can prove to be breeding sites for disease-causing organisms upon assuming rainwater. The continued application of commercial fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides has the potential to pollute and corrupt the environment critically.

The following assessment illustrates the explored risk implications of the involved hazardous provisions;

i) Hazard identification

· Pesticide, fertilizers, herbicides and pharmaceutical wastes; drinking water pollution, deactivation of essential bacteria for sewage treatment, toxication and critical diseases

· Mining activities; dust pollution, diseases, accidents, water pollution

· Machinery and automotives; air pollution due to exhausts and dust generation, noise pollution, drinking water pollution by oils and fuels

· Manure, feeds, and carcass remains; water pollution, gas (methane or ammonia) generation

ii) Exposure assessment

· Pesticide, fertilizers, herbicides and pharmaceutical waste; routes of exposure include drinking water and consumables such as aquatic animals. The vulnerable population is unlimited, and the critical level of exposure may vary. For instance, it is presumed that for pharmaceutical exposure, the limit is 0.0001 ppm.

· Dust; the primary route is via breathing. The number of victims is unlimited, and the level of critical exposure may vary from one individual to another. The implications are influenced by the frequency of exposure as well.

· Gases (methane and ammonia); the primary route of exposure is through breathing. The vulnerable population is unlimited. The manifested frequency and amount significantly influence the implications of exposure. For instance, the exposure limit for ammonia is 300 ppm.

· Exposure limits of phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium, oil and grease, TDS, TKN, and TSS are 2.5 ppm, 1.5 ppm, 2.0 ppm, 0.5 ppm, 15 ppm, 100 ppm, 500 ppm and 100 ppm, respectively. The relevant exposure route in this context is drinking water. BOD and COD have exposure limits of 150 ppm and 150 ppm, respectively.

iii) Dose-response assessment

The following shows limits that, when exceeded, attract critical implications;

· Pharmaceutical wastes; over 0.0001 ppm

· BOD; over 150 ppm

· COD; over 150 ppm

· TSS; over 100 ppm

· TDS; over 100 ppm

· TKN; over 500 ppm

· Ammonia; over 300 ppm

· Phosphorous; over 2.5 ppm

· Potassium; over 1.5 ppm

· Calcium; over 2.0 ppm

· Magnesium; over 0.5 ppm

· Oil and grease; over 15 ppm

iv) Risk characterization

The mentioned pollutants can cause critical harm to the exposed individuals, especially when sustained beyond the respective limits. They can amount to critical health complications which could threaten lives. As implicated, the threat isn’t limited but a societal issue. This implies that pollution can compromise the well-being of the society into an unhealthy population.

The phenomenon of acquiring effluent permits needs to be accompanied by relevant regulatory provisions to emphasize their sustainability. Approved strategies that ensure handling chemicals and facilitating sensitive procedures must be established. For example, the organization’s approach to discarding chemical rejects should be fixed to comply with relevant acceptable regulatory provisions as environmental conservation is concerned. A detailed risk management plan that covers all critical dimensions and considers the ecological conservation requirements must be appreciated (Elleuch et al., 2018). This involves the embracement of relevant preventive and corrective measures upon evaluations of the identified possible risks. Also, a regular assessment program should be conducted to determine the relevance and efficiency of the adopted organization’s regulatory initiative. This should appreciate the involvement of internal and external audit parties for enhanced competence.

Pollution Prevention Technologies

Engineering Opportunities for Pollution Prevention

References

Brusseau, M. L., Pepper, I. L., & Gerba, C. P. (2019).
Environmental and pollution science (3rd ed.). Academic Press. https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9780128147207

Elleuch, B., Bouhamed, F., Elloussaief, M., & Jaghbir, M. (2018). Environmental sustainability and pollution prevention. 
Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 
25(19), 18223-18225.

Gwenzi, W., Mangori, L., Danha, C., Chaukura, N., Dunjana, N., & Sanganyado, E. (2018). Sources, behaviour, and environmental and human health risks of high-technology rare earth elements as emerging contaminants. 
Science of the Total Environment, 
636, 299-313.

Pervin, T., Gerdtham, U. G., & Lyttkens, C. H. (2008). Societal costs of air pollution-related health hazards: A review of methods and results. 
Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation, 
6(1), 1-22.

Wu, J., Lu, J., Li, L., Min, X., & Luo, Y. (2018). Pollution, ecological-health risks, and sources of heavy metals in soil of the northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. 
Chemosphere, 
201, 234-242.

Zhou, S., Di Paolo, C., Wu, X., Shao, Y., Seiler, T. B., & Hollert, H. (2019). Optimization of screening-level risk assessment and priority selection of emerging pollutants–the case of pharmaceuticals in European surface waters. 
Environment international, 
128, 1-10.

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