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Running head; Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Erosion Control, Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans 1
Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Erosion Control, Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans 14
Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Erosion Control, Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans
Institutional Affiliations
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.
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 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 memorandum of agreement which was initiated in 1989.
The clean water act has done prohibition of the release of dangerous contaminants and oil into surface waters of America. It aims at preventing harm on the welfare of the environment and public health. Regulations of the EPA on pollutions related to oil direct owners and runners oil facilities that do not deal with transportation to create end enforce rules to avoid discharges related to oil.
EPA carries out regional inspections in different periods to ensure amenability or submission to the given rules (Hawkins, 2015). The inspections may happen knowingly or unknowingly to the members of the public. Facilities to be inspected are chosen randomly or through the following processes;
• The period in which infrastructure of a specific company has existed.
• A Recent study on spilling of harmful toxic chemicals, paints, oil, solvent, and cleansers from construction and oil companies.
• Based on complains brought forward by some members of the public.
• Based on appeals and evaluations by the EPA examiners.
• Based on EPA agents conducting interviews with employees working in the construction companies and other facilities, e.g., oil companies and inspections on their operational structures.
• A review conducted by the EPA agents on spill prevention control and countermeasures plan.
• Enhancing exercises that unannounced by the government at company facilities to certify that the plans have been implemented.
To conclude, it is important for construction companies and other sources of water pollution to create and adhere to measures that are aimed at controlling pollution of water. The companies should only conduct the process of the land clearing where it is necessary (Findlater, 2013). It will prevent or minimize erosion of soil on construction sites thus avoiding siltation on water bodies. Also, dust and chemical particles that are easily carried by agents of erosion into water bodies should be controlled by fine spraying of water around the site of construction. Screening is an essential practice that should be conducted on job sites to control dust particles from sand and cement, which may pollute water in one way or another. Proper covering of trucks and construction materials will prevent them from being carried away by surface run-off. Construction materials like cement, sand, and ballast should be stored properly and only retrieved at the time of use (Owa, 2014). It prevents exposing them to agents of erosion that may drain them to water bodies hence leading to water pollution. Also, the use of non-toxic construction materials should be implemented with the sole purpose of controlling pollution of water. All drain chains exposed on the job sites should be covered. Disposal of waste on the environment should be done by the permit of the EPA. Low Sulphur oil should be used on construction machinery. Finally, burning of construction waste substances should be regulated to prevent the formation of acid rain which would, in turn, pollute water.
Stormwater is as a result of surface run-off water that is created after heavy rains have fallen on the surface of the earth. Activities conducted by human beings are the primary causal agent of surface-off. Mostly, excess rainwater is absorbed in the ground to form underground water through the process of seeping and infiltration. It is significantly supported by the vegetation cover that exists naturally or planted by human beings on the earth surface. When the vegetation cover is cleared to create a construction site, the excess rainwater is not trapped and hence tends to flow on the earth surface. It follows the terrain and topography of the earth surface which determines its velocity. The steeper the slope, the higher the velocity and the gentle the slope, the lower the velocity. Hence, the flowing water moving around the construction sites and buildings around the streets mixes several materials which might be toxic and may be deposited on wetlands or other forms of water bodies. Therefore, discharge of intoxicated water into clean water bodies lead to water pollution. This research will discuss ways that have influenced the stormwater formation. It will also exploit the effects of stormwater on construction sites and water bodies. It will also explain how stormwater can be prevented. It will describe laws and plans that the federal government has set to control stormwater pollution.
Stormwater is influenced by several factors, but two of the main factors are human activities and the climate. Human beings carry out several activities as their means of livelihood. The principal activities carried out by human beings that facilitate the formation of stormwater is construction management (River, 2015). When facilities such as highways, concrete pavements, streets, buildings, etc. are constructed, they act as barriers to the flowing rainwater in being soaked to the ground. It is difficult for water to pass through hard surfaces and tarmac to be absorbed into the ground. Hence, when run-off water flows alongside the structures and buildings, it may dissolve toxic substances which include gases such as nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium mainly from agricultural projects. Other materials include cement, paints, solvents, and cleaners. The materials contaminate water which is then discharged to various water bodies, thus causing pollution. The water may also flood a construction site whose topography is flat.
Climate is another factor that influences the formation of stormwater. The water is as a result of heavy rains or hailstorms that are influenced by climate change. Change in the standard climate patterns in a specific area can be as a result of global warming. The condition is caused greatly by the greenhouse effect resulting due to the imbalance of carbon and CFCs in the atmosphere. Air pollution causes the imbalance of carbon by manufacturing industries, vehicles which use gasoline as fuel, mining activities, burning of fossil fuels like coal and clearing of vegetation. Plants infrastructure on the earth surface plays a significant role in the carbon cycle process. Hence when trees and another form of vegetation are cleared for harvesting construction materials or creating a job site, the carbon cycle process is interrupted (River, 2015). It leads to adverse or exaggerated weather condition of heavy rainfall, long periods of sunshine and strong winds. Longer periods of sunshine may cause ice on mountain tops to melt hence leading to the formation of surface run-off water referred to as stormwater (Creek, 2015). Such water may flow at high velocity leading to the destruction of infrastructure such as plants, roads buildings and carry away some of the major construction materials.
There are several effects of stormwater in water bodies and construction sites. The effects are of no advantage, but they are more detrimental to some extent. One of the adverse effects caused by stormwater is pollution. Pollution takes place when toxic substances mix with the stormwater as it flows towards specific water bodies. Most of the materials emanate from job sites, residential buildings, and agricultural farms. The elements, as mentioned earlier, are drained into water channels which then discharge them into water bodies hence polluting them. Stormwater with higher velocity from melting ice in the mountains may mix with sewage from construction sites. When stormwater flows across agricultural lands, it may dissolve some agrochemicals that are later discharged into water bodies. It automatically leads to contamination of water bodies. If the sewage is not well treated, it is drained into water lands and waterbodies thus causing pollution. Therefore, pollution of water bodies by stormwater has dangerous effects on aquatic life and human beings. Water creatures such as fish may die when intoxicated by polluted water. It causes a reduction in food supply, specifically proteins. Also, the consumption of contaminated food from water creatures may cause waterborne diseases to human beings. Consumption of contaminated water by human beings may lead to stomach infections and diseases. Such diseases include cryptosporidiosis, shigellosis, Amoebiasis, giardia, etc. also, domestic and wild animals would be intoxicated if they consume the polluted water. Some chemicals would lead to critical conditions like cancer which is very expensive to cure. Stormwater destroys habitat meant for marine life which includes animals and plants through over flooding.
Other than pollution, stormwater has several effects on construction sites that would lead to hazardous consequences if not taken into considerations. The effect of stormwater on building sites might be slow but the results might total loss and destruction. The effects are mostly based on the groundwater which has been absorbed by stormwater. It has a direct relationship to the stormwater that flows on the surface of the earth. The following are some of the effects of stormwater 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 (Fletcher, 2016). 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 stormwater. When groundwater increase in level due to the increased amount of stormwater, clay soil on the construction site tend to absorb a lot of water hence leading to swelling of structures constructed with clay material. Such conditions might cause a significant building difficulties based on stability (Trenouth, 2015). Continuous occurrence of such conditions may lead to collapsing of the assembled structures thus creating a huge loss.
The hydrostatic pressure of uplift caused by underground water created by stormwater 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 full impact on a structure takes a while to reveal itself, the resulting damage may be hard to recover from or repair.
Areas with high groundwater are 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 stormwater increases and flows regularly, the earth surface is prone to wetness and softness of soil. Thus, soil with clay characteristics may accumulate the site. As explained earlier, the clay soils have a habit of swelling when groundwater 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 stormwater. It the moisture mount that accumulates in the base of construction structure. 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 them.
Having discussed the effects of stormwater on construction sites, it is now relevant to discuss the various control methods that can be used to control the impacts of stormwater on water bodies and construction sites. The amount of stormwater flowing as surface run-off can be controlled through following procedures. The first one is through the control of air pollution. As discussed earlier, air pollution leads to adverse climatic change like heavy rainfall and prolonged sunshine periods. When the condition is maintained, natural climate will be experienced. The heavy rains will cease and prolonged period of sunshine will reduce. Hence, the rate at which ice melts to create stormwater will reduce. Secondly, planting of vegetative cover on construction sites and waterways will help in controlling stormwater effects on pollution.
(Gharabaghi, 2015). Vegetation cover ensures that the carbon cycle process is flowing accordingly hence the effects of global warming will decrease leading to normal climate experiences. Vegetation cover will also reduce the velocity of water hence more stormwater will be absorbed into the ground thus reducing the amount of water flowing as run-off. The plant cover also traps construction materials that cannot dissolve in stormwater hence preventing them from contaminating water bodies (McIntyre, 2016). The vegetative cover also reduces the speed of stormwater hence the probability of the water carrying materials is reduced. It is a good way of preventing siltation of agricultural soil which may contain some contaminated soil sediments. Drought resistant plants should be planted on construction sites to ensure that the effects of stormwater are maintained even at dry conditions. Another procedure of controlling pollution by stormwater is by being accurate while handling machines in construction sites. Most machines use gasoline as fuel, and when it leaks to the ground, it might be carried away by stormwater and drained into water bodies. Used oil and other construction waste in job sited should be dumped according and away from the storm waterways. Nontoxic construction materials like paints, solvents, and cleaners should be applied instead of the toxic ones who can contaminate water bodies when discharged by the stormwater. Agricultural chemicals should be used sparingly and according to the instructions provided to prevent contamination of stormwater. Mulch should be applied on exposed parts of job sites to prevent easy transportation of construction materials and soil by the stormwater. Creation of drainage channels should be done to direct the stormwater away from agents of pollution. It reduces the rate of contamination on water bodies since the discharged stormwater is less toxic. Construction sites should be positioned away from water drainage systems that drain the stormwater to reduce the chances of contamination. Proper strategies on storage of construction materials should be implemented to limit the number of elements transported by stormwater.
The federal government has created regulations and plans based on control of pollution caused by stormwater. The laws direct various construction companies on how the programs should be implemented to control pollution resulting from stormwater. The stormwater pollution plan is a document that is written for a specific site to realize some operations carried out by industries with the aim of preventing or minimizing pollutant from mixing with stormwater. It is a part of a contract document that every construction company requires to acquire. The united states EPA that deals with environmental protection, reveals the activities that disturb the land, especially from construction companies. The corporations must acquire the Nonpoint Discharge Elimination System permit under the clean water act of 1972 when their construction activities are yet to begin. The Best Management Practices are other essential requirements needed for the prevention of pollution on stormwater. The construction companies must obtain the NPDES permit if in one way or another they will participate in the discharge of water that has been contaminated into any natural water sources. Some fillings based on the notice of intent must be done by the operator of a particular construction site before the onset of construction activities. A note of noncompliance is issued to construction companies which fail to install proper measures of controlling pollution by stormwater. Fines will also result if a company fails to implement the plans of pollution control by stormwater efficiently. The fines are always generated from the EPA which operates under the clean water act authorities (Huff, 2016). As mentioned earlier, the pollution of natural water source is as a result of deposition of sediments from construction sites that in progress. Coordination amongst the contractors and operators is vital for the benefit of meeting the set plans on controlling pollution by stormwater in the permit. A proper working plan must be staged to ensure that appropriate timing is done in sediment control. It is always a requirement that implementation of the SWPPP should begin when the industrial operations are staring. Necessary updates on the plan should be made since the stormwater pollution prevention plan document is living. An annual evaluation is usually conducted, and necessary revisions are adjusted. Submission of the plan is mostly done electronically (Sloan, 2016). The activity is conducted by a legally responsible person who is selected by the SWPPP discharger.
The stormwater pollution prevention plan should have the following requirements;
• The name of the facility and information on their contacts.
• The map of the site.
• Materials used in the industries in list form.
• A vivid explanation of the major sources of pollution.
• A thorough examination of the major sources of pollution.
• The minimum Best Management Practices.
• Advanced Best Management Practices if they can be applied.
• The plan of monitoring the implementations.
• An evaluation of the site, which is conducted annually.
• The actual time of the initial preparation of the SWPPP. It may also include the dates of amendment of the plan.
• Signatures that exhibit certification.
Several minimum standards should be met by the stormwater pollution prevention plans. The plan should be in a position of identifying pollutants of stormwater. It should identify the Best Management Practices for the revealed contaminants. It should detect changes that will take place in the future that will facilitate making changes in the stormwater pollution prevention plan. The keeping of record should be done as a copy of the plan should be on the site of construction. For the SWPPP to be successful, the operating time should be clear and relevant. A team to carry out the procedures should also be created and educated on the details of the operation. The map of the site should be clear and legible with well-marked boundaries and the relevant indication of drainage areas (Scholz, 2016). Minor details of technical material specifications should be included in the plan. They include the specific locations of storing materials, the particular quantities of the elements, the specific times of shipping and receiving the materials, etc.
In conclusion, it is essential to control the pollution of stormwater to ensure an establishment of a healthy environment that is fit for the various ecosystems of living organisms. Proper control will also minimize the cost of maintenance in construction management companies, and it will enhance a smooth flow of construction programs.
Erosion is the process whereby by the topsoil or materials that are lightly placed on the earth surface are carried away by agents of erosion. The agents of erosion include wind, water, and glacial materials. Human activities are the major causative agent that increases the chances of erosion to occur since it determines the intensity of the other agents of erosion. Some of the human activities that lead to soil erosion include construction of various structures, hence making the job site prone and open to agents of erosion which mostly include running water and wind. Erosion itself also has some impacts on construction sites activities. Hence this research paper will discuss erosion agents and forms of erosion that take place on job sites. It will also explain on effects of erosion on job sites and the erosion control techniques that can be applied to minimize or prevent erosion from happening. Afterwards, the paper will discuss the verdict of law in matters pertaining regulations put in place by the federal government in the lasts twenty years regarding erosion control.
Water is one agent of erosion. The sources of water that causes erosion on the job sites and other parts of the surface of the earth include heavy rains which result into flooding, hence carrying away the top soil layer and construction materials such as sand, cement, ballast, paints, solvents, some simple machinery, etc. through surface run-off (Tian, 2015). Another source of water that might cause erosion is from waterbodies. It might be as a result of water breaking the banks of the water bodies where it was held and thus flows with a greater velocity towards the construction site. Heavy rains are mainly caused by prevailing climate changes caused by global warming. On the other hand, global warming is caused by the greenhouse effect which results from the pollution of the atmosphere by carbon, Sulphur and nitrogenous gases emitted by factories and companies which might include construction companies. Climate is just of the factors that influence erosion on job sites and the earth surface in general. The soil type is another factor that influences erosion on job sights. Sandy soil or any other soil that consists of larger particles is less compacted. Such characteristics of soil make it easier for erosion to take place unlike the highly compacted soils like clay. In most cases, sandy soil is used for construction purposes when mixed with cement and water in a specific ratio. The mixing is highly determined by what the construction manager intends to put up. The other factor that influences the rate at which water carries away soil and construction materials on a job site is the topography. The sloping of the job sites plays a major role in preventing or accelerating the rate of erosion. The sites that are very sloppy increases the rate of erosion while the sites that are gentle and flat reduce the rate of erosion. Water will flow with a higher velocity on job site and at a lower velocity on a gentle or flat job site. Hence, constructions carried on the job site that are very sloppy are more than those carried on a gentle or a flat job site. The other factor that influence erosion by water is vegetation. If the job site is greatly uncovered by vegetation, materials, and soil are highly prone to erosion by water. Vegetation on the job site act as a barrier that reduces the intensity of erosion.
Wind is another agent of erosion on construction sites. The factors that influence the rate of erosion by water might be the same factors that influence wind erosion. They include topography, vegetation covers, soil type and climate. The sloping of the land determines how intense the wind will carry away soil and other construction materials on job sites. A job site that is very steep is highly prone to wind as an agent of erosion. Job sites that are gentle or flat experience minimum rates of wind erosion. Vegetation cover is another factor that influences erosion by wind (Martín, 2016). Plant cover on the construction site and the earth surface in general act as a barrier and hence reduce the intensity or the velocity of the wind. Job sites with minimum or no vegetation cover are highly prone to erosion than sites with a higher plant population. The soil type on the job site has a major influence on wind erosion. The soil that is less compacted, e.g., sandy soil which is mostly used in construction, is easily carried away by the wind. Clay and loamy soils are more compacted hence lightly eroded on a job site by the wind. Also, the climate has a significant influence on wind erosion. The climate of a place is as a result of weather being experienced in the same region over a longer period (Duque, 2016). So the weather of a certain place is characterized by temperature, sunshine, rainfall, and wind. Hence climate is a major contributor to wind erosion, and also determines how fast or slow the wind will blow.
Human beings have primary effects on the factors that influence erosion by wind or water. Human activities conducted by man have a direct relationship with vegetation cover, the climate of a place, soil type and the topography of a certain place. When individuals clear a substantial amount of vegetation on a construction site to mark the land, he or she exposes the site to agents of erosion. When individual harvest or displace soil on a construction site, they disturb it and make it loose hence increasing the chances of erosion by wind or water. It is as a result of the individuals altering the topography of the land. Pollution caused by construction companies and other factors lead to climate change which then results in strong winds and heavy rainfall.
Erosion caused by glacial phenomena does not have a major impact on construction sites. It is as a result of movement of ice on mountainous regions where construction of structures might not be common. Movement of ice on mountains cause the weathering of soil, and if the process persists, erosion of soil takes place.
Having discussed the agents of erosion on job sites, it will be relevant to focus on how erosion can be controlled on construction sites. To begin with, the site selection of construction is the most fundamental activity to conduct. It would be cheaper to select a suitable site other than to modify particular site for construction purposes. Secondly, thorough research and planning should be conducted while starting a construction project on roads, buildings or any forms of permanent infrastructure. Sites which are largely graded and level should be selected. Sites that are prone to flooding should be avoided, and all natural waterways should be preserved to serve their purpose instead of directing water elsewhere. Unless proper engineering practices are carried out on land measurements, sites with a higher topography should be avoided as construction sites. If the steep slopes are selected for construction, the length of steepness can be reduced through the construction of diversion structures. Such activities are conducted to reduce the velocity of agents of erosion. Thirdly, only a small area that is being used on the construction sites should remain exposed to the agents of means that vegetation should only be cleared when a particular portion of the job site is on use. Also, grading practices should be hastened to cover the exposed area with permanent mulch, for the purpose of reducing its exposure to agents of erosion such as wind and water. The staged seeding process would also be essential when construction is in progress. It happens when upgrades of fill slopes are taking place. Grading should be minimized on larger sites when the erosion season is at its maximum. Fourthly, soil erosion control practices should be applied on the site for defense purposes. It is important to prevent a problem than to cure it. It can be applied by; covering the exposed portion of the job site with mulch, grading the slope and compacting of soil to prevent an easier erosion process through rolling. Diversion structures can also be incorporated to reduce the length of the slope. The design of construction sites should be conducted thoroughly, and maintenance should also be conducted sufficiently to overcome any form of erosion (Francisco, 2016). Practices of sediment control should be conducted through the filtering of surface run-off water to capture sediments. The installation of sediment control structures can be done temporarily or permanently depending on the design of the project, of whether to keep them or remove them after the construction is over. However, sediments are best controlled by preventing the source of erosion. The other essential method for erosion control is the conducting of thorough checkups on construction sites based on erosion and sedimentation. It is a method of maintenance of the job site (Ibarra, 2016). If it is applied keenly, it can prevent huge costs of resulting damages from happening. It is achieved through daily checkups on whether the installed methods of erosion control are functioning as expected. There should be preparations for rain if the weather forecast predicts that way. Adequate waste construction materials which can be improvised for mulching should be properly stored.
Erosion has several effects on job sites. Water, strong winds and glacial materials have a major impact on construction sites. The results are very treacherous since they may cause destruction or serious damage to construction sites and injuries to manpower respectively. Water is one of the destructive agent that can lead to total damage. To start with, water, at high velocity can carry away most of the construction materials on the job site. Such materials include cement, paints, solvents, ballast, and sand among others. The impacts of the water force on constructed structures can lead to formation of some cracks on the building walls. If the same process happens repeatedly, the cracks expand and later the building or structures tends to lose stability. Unstable buildings or structures can easily collapse leading to serious losses that cannot be easily recovered. The erosion waterway also causes dampness in the structures hence making it difficult for people to reside in them. If the site has clay soil, weakening of the basement of the building can take place. When the clay soil absorbs a lot of water, it swells. When the water dries off, the clay shrinks. The swelling and shrinking process of the clay soil develops some lines of weaknesses that creates unstable basements. It might lead to the collapsing of the structures. Erosion water can also wear off paints on building therefore increasing the cost of management. On the other hand, strong winds can also cause damages on structures in the job sites. Strong winds can easily carry construction materials such as cement, sand, solvents and paints. The roofing materials of the construction structures can also be blown away by strong winds. Cracks or other form of weaknesses may be created on construction structures due to collision of eroded materials by wind with the wall of buildings. It reduces the building stableness and with time, the structures might collapse. Glacial materials have some significant effects, on job sites along the slopes of mountains and hills. When the ices roll, they might fall on construction structures or buildings causing serious damages that can be too costly to repair. The wind may also displace the construction materials on job sites, hence consuming the time for the implementation of a project. All the maintenance practices caused by the agents of erosion incur extra cost on the construction projects. Damages on the ongoing projects may lead to inconveniences to other industries such as transport and communication. The lives of individuals who work in the various construction sites might also be at risk when such accidents happen.
having discussed on the effects of erosion on job sites, it is important to exploit on the significant regulations that have been added by the federal government in the last twenty years regarding erosion control. The regulations were first filed by the federal government in 1985 under the 10 GCA, chapter 47 of the water control act of the united states (Manuel, 2016). It gives measures and rules that should be followed strictly by the construction companies to combat erosion. They include;
• All the soil-moving operations which include filling, clearing of vegetation, excavation, and grading, shall be carried according to the approval of the agency that offers the plan for erosion control.
• Such plans on erosion control shall be set up concerning the requirements of section III of the regulations.
• The evidence of plans for erosion control shall be provided through a permit the department of public works on soil-moving operations. The permit shall not be granted if the operations pollute wetlands and other water sources.
• The permit, however, does not offer a construction company the right to violate other programs that have been set to control any form of pollution on the environment.
• Two copies will acquiesce to the agency based on plans regarding erosion control.
• Approval of the plans will take the agency a minimum of ten days to either to validate or invalidate the plans.
• Validation or invalidation will be in writing form (Rodríguez, 2016). If invalidation is done, written reasons will be indicted to explain the cause of invalidation.
• All the soil-moving operations have to continue concerning the validated plans on erosion control except those provided under the section II.
• Except quarrying, the other operation processes will be effective seven days in the calendar.
• All plans on the soil-moving operation will be conducted with the aim of preventing the acceleration of erosion on land, sediment transportation in water channels and the siltation of wetlands.
• The already affected areas by soil-moving operations will be adjusted by development phases that are most effective.
• The scheduling of the soil-moving operations will be done during the periods of low rainfall, or when little rainfall is expected.
• The periods approved by the plan of controlling erosion on graded areas shall not exceed the authorized one.
• Graded areas will be covered temporarily in case the program is delayed or discontinued. The covering must be acceptable to the agency.
• Stabilization of areas that were distressed by the soil-moving processes must be done during the establishment of the final grade.
• Diversion of storm water will be conducted to sediment-removing facilities before it is released in any wetland.
• Facilities and procedures under the authority of the plan of erosion control will be maintained properly until the process of stabilization has been completed.
• The plan on erosion control will give the specific type of structures and their location in the sedimentation control program (Sánchez, 2016).
• A sequence will also be provided by the plan on schedules based on installation and stabilization of the facilities.
• Definition of the implementation of the stabilization plan shall be conducted to avoid any delay when carrying out the processes.
• Procedures based on maintenance shall be conducted to ensure the facilities and structures of sedimentation control operate efficiently and effectively (Castillo, 2016).
• Certificates that have been stamped by the registrar office in the region of the activity shall be offered.
• Violation of the erosion control plan shall be monitored. The violators shall be summoned, and after being taken through the procedure of awareness, actions regarding low breaking shall apply. A hearing shall be held by the agency for the violators to answer on the charges that have been brought into complain. After a proof of violation, occurrence has taken place; a corrective action will be issued to ensure that operations are running swiftly and sound by the plan of erosion control.
• Any individual found guilty will be fined according to the law.
In conclusion, erosion control practices should be carried out in respect to the law. The purpose of such rules is to ensure that the construction sites and the environment do not support water pollution. Also, it ensures that unintended losses in the fulfillment of a particular project are reduced. It also contributes to the smooth flow of a project which does not suffer some periods of delay.
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