The 2017 hurricane season has been filled with destructive forces with the likes of Harvey, Irma and Maria. With the intense winds and record-breaking rainfall, civilians’ lives and the environment are equally affected. The latter cannot pick themselves up after natural disasters and need our help.
There are currently around thirty active superfund sites in the state of Florida. A Superfund is a federal government program that finances the cleanup of contaminates and hazardous waste at a site. The U.S. EPA uses a Hazard Ranking System (HRS) to calculate a score on a scale from 0-100 and a score of 28.5 places the site under a long-term remedial action cleanup plan.
If a natural disaster is threatening an area that contains these sites, the EPA’s technical staff reviews any type of weaknesses that could threaten the local population. Equipment and other hazardous materials that may be stored on site are secured. Staff within a particular region monitors non-active sites closely.
The potential contamination of these sites can affect surrounding areas, such as protected areas, homes, and agriculture. This makes it even more imperative for sites close to contaminated areas to have environmental site assessments. As Superfund sites are closed out and others are opened, natural disasters will not cease to affect the areas we live in.
Through consultation and education, environmental companies like KCI, agencies like the EPA and contractors working on these sites can foresee vulnerabilities on sites to prevent any further contamination on our environment and our people.