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
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
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
The present practice of disposing construction
waste by burying the material on site is n o 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 of