LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Identify the techniques used in the identification, prevention, and cleanup of water, ground, and air environmental pollutants, including the cleanup of oil spills and other hazardous materials.
The Navy's ability to accomplish its mission requires daily land, sea, and air operations. The Navy is committed to operating ships and shore facilities in a manner compatible with the environment. National defense and environmental protection are and must be compatible goals. Therefore, an important part of the Navy's mission is to prevent pollution, protect the environment, and conserve natural, historic, and cultural resources. TO accomplish this mission element, everyone must be aware of the environmental and natural resource laws and regulations that have been established by federal, state, and local governments. The Navy chain of command must provide leadership and commitment to ensure that all Navy personnel develop and exhibit an environmental protection ethic.
This chapter will cover ways to prevent water, ground, and air pollution on the jobsite. It will also describe ways you can help prevent, control, and clean up pollution.
There are some wastes that should never be flushed into a sewer. Sewage treatment plants and industrial waste treatment plants are not designed to, nor can they, adequately treat all wastes. Some wastes such as those containing more than a trace of oil, cleaning fluids, gasoline or other volatiles, toxic chemicals, acids or alkalies, and some solid materials cannot be handled by sewers.
Besides creating a fire hazard, oil and other petroleum-related products pose many possible pollution threats when spilled in the water, dumped into the storm or sanitary sewer system, or spilled on the ground. Oil products on the ground infiltrate and contaminate surface water supplies with the groundwater runoff caused by rain. Oil products dumped or carried into storm or sanitary sewers are also potential explosion hazards.
Oily waste water from boiler rooms, banks of walk-in refrigeration units, and motor pool operations is caused by
improper handling and storage of new and waste oil,
equipment and vehicle washing operations, or
various other maintenance activities that generate liquid waste or wastewater that must be stored or treated.
As a shop supervisor, one of your prime concerns should be to prevent oils used in the shop from draining into storm sewers and surface drainage systems. During pipe-threading operations, you should use catch pans and have absorbent materials available to soak up spilled oil. Spilled oil and fuels should NEVER be washed down a drain or sewer unless an immediate fire hazard exists and an oil-water separator is connected to the discharge line. Where minor spills are expected to occur occasionally (pipe threading, boiler burner cleaning, engine oil changes), sprinkle absorbent material on the spill, pick it up, and then place it in an Environmental Protection Agency- (EPA-) approved container. The EPA containers are normally disposed of through the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO). When this is not possible, the containers must be disposed of through a government-approved contractor or in a sanitary landfill approved by local government authorities.
Waste oils, filters, and contaminated fuel should be collected and disposed of in a nonpolluting manner. Most naval activities collect and dispose of waste oil periodically through a contractor. The contractor may burn it in a boiler plant or in a heating system or reprocess it in an oil reclamation plant. Naval supply fuel farms usually have the means to dispose of waste oils properly.
There will be times that you will see what could be a potential hazard, such as contaminated water runningContinue Reading