A Study of Orange County, New York's Superfund Sites.
The purpose of this paper is to explain what superfund sites are, the need for the superfund law, and the impact on the environment in one specific place, Orange County, New York, the county where I was born and raised.
In spite of all the wonderful technological advances our society has achieved in the last 150 years, there are consequences to these actions. The large scale industrial and manufacturing plants of the early part of the 20th century had many waste products that were new to people, and they did not know how these wastes and their disposal methods would affect the environment and the people who are in contact with them. Different industries obviously had different wastes and disposal processes, and some were worse than others. Chemical plants, nuclear facilities, medical facilities and some other industries that used heavy metals all had waste products that are potentially hazardous to human health, the water table and the rest of the environment. The disposal sites and methods that they used, even though they didn"t know it, have caused several almost disaster like scenarios like contaminating drinking supplies, crops covered in chemicals, and higher cancer rates in several communities across the nation. These effects were realized in the mid 1970's, and the federal government realized that they had to do something to clean up these sites for the protection of the Americans living around them. They called this law the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), and it was nicknamed the Superfund Law (Daniels). This law was meant to identify and clean up the worst toxic waste sites that are a potential danger to people and the environment, and has been a focal point for debate since the start, since the methods and decisions about the sites by the government are questionable.