Describe the potential impacts and/or exposure that the site may produce that should be of concern to the local community
This Case Assignment focuses on sources of hazardous emissions that can impact residential areas and result in public health risks. In this Case, we are investigating a waste-to-energy incinerator located in a rural community in California. For the past 20 years the facility has been in operation burning trash to generate energy. Approximately 50 large trucks per day haul waste to the facility to unload the trash for processing. Recently, another company is proposing to build an incinerator facility next to the existing facility, and the modern incinerator will be able to also burn hazardous wastes including contaminated soils. There has been growing opposition by the local residents to this new hazardous waste incineration facility. Matters are heating up now as the State appears to be at a point of issuing a permanent permit. The major complaints from the neighbors have been odors, truck traffic, noise, contaminated air and fear of exposure to toxins. The Health Officer is concerned about a number of issues, and can take direct action if necessary. The Health Officer contacts you as an Environmental Health Risk Assessment expert for your opinion in a number of areas. (Hints: Any project must be approved by local and State agencies before it can be constructed. This can be a lengthy process. Cities and Counties have zoning regulations that determine “what goes where.” This is one of the most important functions of local government. The State and the Federal governments require numerous permits be issued BEFORE a project is approved for construction. Usually, all adverse impacts must be mitigated before a project is approved. These include air quality, noise, water, seismic safety, land-use, etc.) Describe the potential impacts and/or exposure that the site may produce that should be of concern to the local community. Should there be a public hearing on this matter, and should an Environmental Impact Report be prepared before approval of a State Permit? Describe how the local community can further control the facility through zoning and nuisance laws. Briefly discuss the appropriateness of the State issuing permits for the new facility without having Zoning State Permits Nuisance NOTE: Remember that you are to address each of these issues from an Environmental Health perspective and your positions as an Environmental Health Risk Assessment Expert. Avoid lengthy discussions about the regulatory perspectives of zoning, permitting, and nuisances, which is more of a concern for a regulator or compliance officer. It may help to define each and then focus on the environmental health perspective of each. State your conclusions based upon the areas of concern that you described in Question #1. Discuss how the principles for risk management decision-making were applied or not applied in this case.
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