The polluted environmental condition can pose a serious threat to the environment, and eventually, the quality of species life worsens. The first noticeable condition devastating environmental condition was recorded in mid of 19th century because of the sickness of several people. The amendments should not be based on improving the present conditions only but should also possess a positive impact on the future life of the individuals. One such resource that encounters the present use only is the availability of shale gas development. The gas is benefitted for enhancing the energy security by lowering down the natural gas prices and helping in cleaning the environmental footprints (Sovacool). The shale gas generally digs out through volume hydraulic fracturing horizontal drilling. However, digging out of the shale gas leads to the potential risk to the water resources, creating the (1) salination of shallow groundwater, (2) contamination with hydrocarbon gases to shallow aquifers and (3) the accumulation of toxic chemicals (Vengosh).
The increasing pollution not only impacts the environmental conditions but also results in the devastating alteration in the climate in different geographical areas possessing threats to biological species. Moreover, the severe changes can also have an impact on the mental health of the population, such as developing mental disorders, such as ecopsychology, solastalgia, and biospheric concern. Global warming is one of the major concerns, which is an alarming issue of the future and needs widespread emergencies to be taken into consideration. Global warming tends to increase the worldwide temperature, melts the glacier’s ice and thus disrupt weather’s nature (Cianconi).
The laws under EPA are provided to help human health that includes:
- atomic energy act (AEC)
- Clean water act (CWA)
- Clen air act (CAA)
- Protection of children from environmental health risks act.
CWA: The first act controlling water pollution was formulated in the year 1948 in the United States to address and recover the conditions created because of water pollution. However, the amendment for growing the concern for clean water act among people was established in year 1972. The amendments of 1972 included the following implements, such as recognising the necessity of clean water act (CWA) development to increase water quality, developing the pollution control programs to set wastewater standards, maintaining the requirements for setting the quality of water and providing the funds to construct the sewage treatment plants. In 1981, revisions were made in the program to improve the capabilities of the treatment plans to enhance the funding policies. The purpose of the program was to improve water quality by reducing the toxic pollutants from the great lake, which was found to present more than 29 types of pollutants. The act was found to be satisfactory in providing results and improving humans, wildlife and aquatic life (EPA).
CAA: Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) policy formulated the law of clean air act in 1970, performed the serious regulatory role to control the air pollution system in the United States. The policy provided the generic assessment of several usages of instruments to improve the air quality. However, not much attention was made to the act, which is why several amendments were made in policy in the year 1975, 1977, and 1990 (Schmalensee et al.).
The law of 1975 provided a comprehensive approach that aids in the regulation of air emission. A standard (National Ambient Air Quality Standards or NAAQS) to improve air quality was established to improve public welfare by regulating air emission. However, to achieve better results, amendments were done to act in the years 1977 and 1990. The result of the amendments was that more than 10 tons of hazardous air pollutants (HAP) are being able to be emitted per year. However, the act was not on a human basis, as it was only intended to diminish the air pollutants (Ross).
The wider supply of water, which has become contaminated due to the presence of heavy metals, pesticides, pharmaceutical products and municipal resources in the water stream, is posing an escalating challenge globally. Several strategies, including electrochemical oxidation, membrane filtration, and adsorption techniques, have been incorporated into the consideration to eradicate the water contaminants. For example, adsorption is one of the most effective and environmentally safe techniques to treat wastewater. In this technique, heavy metals are removed from water by binding them with specific molecules called Adsorbents (Rashid et al.).
One such example of Adsorbent is active carbon (made from charcoal) that can remove the apolar compounds in water. Active carbon is generally used in industrial filters, on which wastewater is forcefully pumped, and the apolar molecules bind with the active carbon, which (active carbon) are removed after the process (Rashed et al.).
Cianconi, Paolo, Sophia Betrò, and Luigi Janiri. “The impact of climate change on mental health: a systematic descriptive review.” Frontiers in Psychiatry (2020): 74.
Rashed, Mohamed Nageeb. “Adsorption technique for the removal of organic pollutants from water and wastewater.” Organic Pollutants-Monitoring, Risk and Treatment 7 (2013): 167-194.
Rashid, Ruhma, et al. “A state-of-the-art review on wastewater treatment techniques: the effectiveness of adsorption method.” Environmental Science and Pollution Research 28.8 (2021): 9050-9066.
Ross, R L., and Tammy A. “Dangerous Air Apparent: How EPA’s Hazardous Air Pollutant Program Has Failed to Address Toxic Hotspots.” Envtl. L. Rep. News & Analysis 42 (2012): 10475.
Schmalensee, Richard, and Robert N. Stavins. “Policy evolution under the clean air act.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 33.4 (2019): 27-50.
Sovacool, Benjamin K. "Cornucopia or curse? Reviewing the costs and benefits of shale gas hydraulic fracturing (fracking).” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 37 (2014): 249-264.
United States, environmental protection agency (EPA). History of the Clean Water Act (2021).
Vengosh, Avner, et al. “A critical review of the risks to water resources from unconventional shale gas development and hydraulic fracturing in the United States.” Environmental Science & Technology 48.15 (2014): 8334-8348.