As we waste away our lives in traffic, let's wonder about how people are all going to fit on the roads as the global population continues to soar, especially in places like Calcutta, where this picture was taken.
Having billions more people on this Earth isn't doesn't just pose problems for traffic congestion, but also for pollution. As our own Ben Preston said, "with world population increasing from its current 7 billion (there are estimates that it could reach 9 billion in our lifetime), the term 'don't shit where you eat' has so much more poignancy than ever before."
This was all part of an excellent discussion between Ben, rad mike, and JalepenoStu all triggered by a decently apocalyptic-looking train crash and chemical fire. I'll leave you with an interesting slice of the conversation that you might have missed. I highly encourage you to read through the whole thread, which is enlightening to the article, and to environmental cleanup.
Agreed. These are two different issues. CERCLA (Superfund) is about clean-up and ensuring the sites are identified, prioritized, and properly cleaned up. Modeling is modeling...and is not an exact science yet...especial air modeling. Too many variables to track and process in order to reach one (1) answer: temperature, humidity, wind direction and speed, (all of which can change in a moment). Which is to speak nothing of the pollutant characteristics that you are trying to model, which can change as much as the weather variables, if not more.
While this is not an exact science it is the best thing we have to determine Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) impact on surrounding communities. Kudos to your friend for attempting to reduce or remove those small protections to communities that surround high emitters of HAPs...Title V sources.
If he's actually working to change CERCLA, kudo's again he's working to hobble a mechanism that's in place to clean up industrial contamination.
The issue at play here is the Risk Management Plan or RMP and the modeling required therein. This is not the most accurate methodology but it does seem to be the most workable model that is currently available. It is this data the most likely determined the radius of impact (the evacuation area).
I'm not saying these models are highly accurate but they do provide something of a baseline and measurement tool, and are generally used to protect the public.
Photo Credit: icultist