Pollution Prevention Plan Pre-Assessment Study

A Pollution Prevention Plan (P4) Pre-Assessment Study


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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

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