Environment Protection Authority and Chemical Waste

Introduction

Chemical wastes are those chemicals by-products in form of solids, liquids, or gases produced by factories that are harmful to animal and plant life. On the other hand, petrochemical wastes are those chemicals derived from some reaction involving natural gas or petroleum. However, unlike chemical wastes, petrochemical wastes sometimes are of importance, for instance, some can be made into plastics and others synthetic rubbers and fibers.

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Background

Waste is any substance that can cause pollution and impacts negatively on the environment if not well planned. The environment needs to be taken care of and improved by man if he is to continue with life. Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is an organization that has been given a charter by the Australian government to protect the Victorian environment. The organization is situated in Melbourne metropolitan area and regional Victorian. EPA works in conjunction with the community to realize its aim that is to empower and

use individuals, communities, and businesses encouraging them to take collective responsibility and action towards environmental conservation. (EPA, 1993)

The organization came into being after the amendment of the environment protection act of 1970, an amendment that was passed in 1996 by parliament. The key objectives of the act and hence that of EPA are sustainable use and wise management of the environment, adopting a consultative approach to enable the communities views to be the main propeller of environment care goals and programs, and finally cultivating a cooperative approach towards care and protection of the environment. The act spells out the powers, duties, and functions of the EPA that includes administration, recommendations to the Governor in Council State environment protection councils (SEPPs), and also industrial Waste Management Policies (IWMP). Issuing licenses, permitting work approvals and pollution controls measures, and also implementing the National Environment Protection Measures (MPs).

The CEO is in charge of the overall strategic management of EPA. He is assisted by the executive office of the chairman and then the EPA solicitor who all reports directly to the CEO. In 1986 the Victorian government took up an industrial waste strategy that gave a framework for the correct and the best management of chemicals and petrochemicals industrial wastes. Chief among them was the use of new technologies to enable industries to get back valuable materials from their waste piles while simultaneously reducing waste generation this they called the waste minimization policy Though an industry knows about the nature and the type of its waste stockpile, an overhaul operation assessment of a specific company will serve to identify alternatives for minimizing wastes (EPA 2004), reducing costs associated with managing and disposing of such wastes this policy will go a long way in ensuring good public health and safe working conditions for the employee of these industries. (EPA, 2007)

Strengths

Landfills form a vital part of chemical and petrochemical management in Victoria’s waste management infrastructure. Right from the sitting, management up to the rehabilitation of landfills requires an advanced design and features to be implemented to ensure that the environment is safe and also community’s aspirations are realized. The use of landfills is the only appropriate way to manage wastes that cannot be recycled. (EPA, 2007)

Weakness

As much as the EPA may try to keep the environment pollution free some wastes still find their way into the surroundings. (EPA 2007). Such wastes include the emissions from the motor vehicle exhaust system. Such waste is hard to control unless the Victoria government passes a policy that will encouraage3 the use of unleaded gas for motor vehicles and also increased the manufacture of environmental-friendly vehicles that use ethanol instead of petroleum and diesel.

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Opportunities

With the reduction in the cost of maintaining wastes and also the wastes generated more industries will register an increased profit at the end of the trading year these companies may then decide to plow back the excess profits thus creating employment for more people.

Threats

The use of motor vehicles or machines that use ethanol instead of petrol will lead to increased demand for maize. This can result in a rise in food prices given that maize is the staple food in Africa. (EPA, 2004)

Summary

At the end of the day, the EPA policies will ensure that by reducing the output of the waste treated, money is saved, raw materials used in the treatment are reduced and also other operating costs are minimized. By taking care of the environment as spelled by these policies the statutory obligation of the Kyoto protocol for which the government of Australia supports is met as well as minimizing potential environmental liabilities.

Recommendations

The Victoria government should establish a policy that encourages the use of biofuels instead of petroleum by industries firstly to reduce environmental pollution and secondly to reduce the cost of chemical and petrochemical waste management.

SWOT Analysis

The environment is part and parcel of human life and therefore needs to be cared for. The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) works towards this goal in Victoria as a result hazardous wastes from industries are checked against contaminating the environment. The problem of chemical wastes and other wastes can be managed if such an organization liaises with a given community in a way that everyone’s needs are taken into considerations in matters of environmental protection. Environment practitioners can make a difference if they foster the use of modern technology in environmental care. Such methods may include performing analysis on the nature and the type of emissions from a specific company and coming up with ways to reduce the pollutants in a method called waste minimization.

Reference

EPA (2007): Victoria’s green house gas inventory management plan publication. Vol.1168. Web.

EPA (2004): waste management policy victoria40 city road south bank December Publication 968.Victoria.

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(1993). EPA Information bulletin: industrial waste minimization procedure for waste assessment. Science, 358.

Bledsoe, B.P. and Watson, C.C. (2001): Effects of Urbanization on Channel Instability; Water Pollution Control Federation Journal 45 (5), pp. 850-869.

Booth, D.B. (1991): Urbanization and the Natural Drainage System-Impacts, Solutions and Prognoses; the Northwest Environmental Journal, 7:93-118, University of Washington.

Booth, D.B. (1997): Rationale for a ‘Threshold of Concern’ in Storm water Release Rates,” Center for Urban Water Resources Management, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Washington, 8 pp.

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Booth, D.B. and Jackson, C.R. (1997): Urbanization of Aquatic Systems: Degradation Thresholds, Storm water Detention, and the Limits of Mitigation,” Journal of the American Water Resources Association, Vol. 22 No. 5, 20 pp.

California State Department of Transportation (2002): Storm water Monitoring and Data Management 2000-2001 Annual Data Summary Report, California Department of Transportation Publication Number CTSW-RT-02-002, 51 pp.

Cappuccitti, D.J and Page, W.E (2000): Stream Response to Storm water Management Best Management Practices in Maryland, Section 319(h) Clean Water Act Report submitted by the Maryland Department of the Environment to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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Hajda, P., V. Novotny and A. Bartosova (1999): Estimating the Effect of Urbanization on the Discharge-Frequency Relationship, Technical report no. 4, Milwaukee: Institute for Urban Environmental Risk Manage

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