Remediation and Reuse of Contaminated Land

Topics: Soil, Organic compound, Environmental remediation Pages: 7 (2332 words) Published: November 7, 2012

A. ANALYSIS OF ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ON REMEDIATION AND REUSE OF CONTAMINATED LAND. A contaminated land is a land which contains substances that are actually or potentially hazardous to health or the environment. Land can also be defined as contaminated if only there is significant pollutant linkage. This means that, there must be: * an evidence of the presence of a contaminant, a pathway and a receptor that might suffer ‘’significant harm’’, * a ‘’significant possibility of significant harm’’, * Signs that pollution of control waters is occurring or is likely to occur. This definition is based on the source-pathway-receptor pollutant linkage – the concept for assessing the risk of contaminated land in the UK. In the context of a contaminated soil, the health of human beings, animals or plants, ground or surface water and buildings which are normally polluted with substances contained by contaminated soil are termed receptors with respect to the definition of contaminated lands. The contaminants are referred as the ‘’Source’’ while the soil is termed as the pathway. Countries such as US and UK have large industrial productions which have contributed to land contamination. They have many sites where land has become contaminated by activities such as mining, industry, chemical and oil spills and waste disposal. Land Contamination can also occur naturally as a result of the geology of the area, or through agricultural use. In 1994, Ramp Industries, a facility three miles north of downtown Denver in the US which has operated for 12 years as a broker of low-level radioactive and mixed waste was cited by US Environmental Agency for a variety of hazardous and radioactive material violations. It was revealed that there were approximately 5,000 55-gallon drums of waste which had contaminated the property and could end up contaminating the land. Webster and Tavenor sites were sites belonging to the Gulf Nuclear – a radioactive manufacturing facility. The sites including its land were contaminated extensively with a variety of radionuclides including Cesium-137, Americium-241, Cobalt-60 and Radium-266. These sites were located at very important areas which therefore became a major concern to the public. The Webster was located close to the Johnson Space centre whiles the Tavenor site was near the Houston Hobby Airport. According to environmental protection UK- a national charity organisation on environmental issues, there are numerous sites in the UK where land has become contaminated by human activities such as mining, industry, chemical, oil spills and waste disposal. In 2011, there was an oil spill at the Gannet Alpha rig offshore east of Aberdeen, UK which happens to be the country’s biggest spill in a decade. The ‘’appropriate person’’ – shell estimated in their report that 216tonnes (1300 barrels) of oil was released offshore. The oil slick was approximately 0.5sqaure kilometres in size. There was a possible contamination of the offshore land and it waters.

Ghana is noted for her mineral resources such as gold, diamond, manganese and rocks. Contamination of most Ghana’s land is through mining activities. The use of mercury (Hg) in artisanal gold mining is on the increase especially with the illegal companies in Ghana. A lot of these companies do not know the level of harm mercury (Hg) can cause to human health. Ghana’s rivers such as river pra and birim are polluted with Hg. Major mining and artisanal mining contribute a lot to land degradation in Ghana. The soil is depleted and therefore contaminated. Contamination of land therefore is as a result of many activities and experiments done by mankind which end up polluting the soil and rivers. Some of the leading causes of contamination of lands as follows: * Industrial wastes such as harmful gases and chemicals, agricultural...
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