Construction site work, repair, and maintenance of facilities have the immediate potential for becoming polluting activities. Since the majority of construction efforts take place on land, project supervisors must identify potential pollution hazards and take steps to minimize their effects. Some of the most common pollution activities that affect the ground areas and water ecosystems are grubbing and equipment repair operations.
Large-scale clearing and grubbing during the initial stages of a project often produce damaging environmental effects, such as increased soil erosion, reduction of atmospheric oxygen, and destruction of wildlife habitat. Another primary concern is the introduction of particulate matter into streams and riverbeds. Particulate matter released into waterways causes increased siltation and algae growth.
To prevent these damaging effects, you should save as much vegetation as possible such as trees, grass, and other plants that hold the soil in place. Consider allowing tree rows to be left in place until the project is completed. Replant cleared areas. Construct a shallow trench around the perimeter of a project to help contain water runoff into streams and rivers and to prevent siltation. The decision to burn scrubs and stumps should be based on atmospheric conditions. You should burn only when conditions are favorable and the material to be burned is totally dry.
A burn permit is required for all burning operations! To prevent wild fires and of smog, do NOT use petroleum-based fuels to start fires! Petroleum-based fuels do not burn completely, and the residue seeps into the underground water table.
As a crew leader, be aware of work conditions that cause air pollution and the efforts required to minimize or connect such problems.
When incomplete combustion occurs in base boilers, space heaters, and stoves, the unburned hydrocarbons and the various other fuel components combine chemically to form by-products. Many of these by-products are harmful to people and the environment.
The by-products that have the most adverse effect on the air are carbon monoxide, particulate matter, sulfur oxides, unburned hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and lead. The most effective means of controlling air pollution from incomplete fuel combustion is to maintain the equipment properly and frequently. Another means of lessening air pollution, not always under your control, is the use of only the best grade of fuel. High-grade fuel contains low particulate matter, low water and sulfur content, and few contaminants.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines solid waste as "any garbage, refuse, or sludge from a waste treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, air pollution control facility, or any other discarded material, including solid, liquid, semisolid, or contained gaseous material resulting from industrial (including construction), commercial, mining, or agricultural operations or community activities." Solid waste is a growing international concern and it has reached critical proportions in many areas.
The present practice of disposing construction waste by burying the material on site is no longer considered a viable method of disposal. All construction and demolition materials must be disposed of in a safe, logical way to prevent future damage to the ecosystems. Recycling is a very good alternative to disposing of certain material.
Solid wastes are best disposed of in one or more of the following ways:
The term disposal identifies the point at which the Navy relinquishes control of its solid waste or provides for its ultimate disposal in Navy-operated facilities. Presently, the most practical way to dispose of solid wastes is through the sanitary landfill method. The Navy has recycling and incineration facilities currently in operation. In Norfolk, Virginia, the Navy uses a heat reclamation unit to produce steam; however, these units are in the experimental stage and are not presently in general use. Each of the disposal methods helps to reduce the initial volume of solid waste, but each method leaves varying amounts ofContinue Reading