article critic

The Article Critique is required to be a minimum of two pages to a maximum of four pages, double-spaced, APA style,

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from the journals and articles available in our CSU Library Databases. The article should deal with any of the material

 

presented in the first three units of this course. The article itself must be more than one page in length. The article critique

 

should include the following components:

 

 

A brief introduction of the article

 

Analysis of the key points in the article

 

Application and comparison of some points in the article that might be applied to the company you work for, or

 

 

 

have worked for

 

 

Summary of the article’s conclusions and your own opinions

 

 

 

the article is:

Policy fíriefing

 

Senate Bill Aims to Prevent Chemical

 

Contamination of Surface Water

 

 

 

IHE CHEMICAL spill that

 

 

 

‘ recently occurred in West

 

Virginia and interrupted

 

water deliveries to approximately

 

300,000 of that

 

state’s residents has led to the introduction

 

of federal legislation aimed at preventing

 

the recurrence of such events.

 

Although improved protection of surface

 

water enjoys broad support, questions

 

have arisen as to who should oversee

 

and fijnd the additional regulatory

 

efforts called for in the bill.

 

On January 9 it was discovered that

 

thousands of gallons of chemicals used in

 

coal processing had leaked from storage

 

facilities at a tank farm located along the

 

Elk River in Charleston, West Virginia.

 

The chemicals entered the waterway approximately

 

1.5 mi upstream of a public

 

water supply intake, forcing officials

 

to recommend that residents of a ninecounty

 

area in and around Charleston

 

not use their drinking water. Lasting for

 

more than a week, this situation caused

 

considerable concern about health effects

 

and spurred calls for regulatory

 

protections.

 

On January 27 Senator Joe Manchin

 

(D-West Virginia) introduced the

 

Chemical Safety and Drinking Water

 

Protection Act of 2014 (S. 1961), legislation

 

that aims to protect surface water

 

from contamination from chemical

 

storage facilities. The bill would revise

 

the Safe Drinking Water Act to establish

 

state programs for overseeing and

 

inspecting chemical storage facilities

 

that are deemed to pose a risk to public

 

water sources. Within one year of enactment

 

of the legislation, states would

 

have to set requirements for chemical

 

storage facilities covered by the new

 

programs. These requirements would

 

address such topics as “acceptable standards

 

of good design, construction, or

 

maintenance,” along with leak detection,

 

spill and overfill control, inventory

 

control, inspections of facility integrity.

 

and life-cycle maintenance, according to

 

the legislation.

 

Additional requirements would pertain

 

to emergency response and communication

 

plans, employee training and

 

safety plans, and the financial responsibility

 

of the owners of chemical storage

 

facilities. States would share with drinking

 

water providers the emergency response

 

plans for chemical storage facilities

 

located within the same watershed,

 

along with an inventory of each chemical

 

stored at each facility.

 

Under S. 1961 states also would impose

 

minimum inspection requirements

 

for chemical storage facilities covered

 

by the new program. In particular, facilities

 

regarded by states as potential

 

contamination sources under existing

 

drinking water protection plans would

 

have to be inspected every thtee years,

 

while all other facilities would have to

 

be inspected every five years. The legislation

 

does not stipulate the entity that

 

would conduct such inspections. What

 

is more, ownership of chemical storage

 

facilities covered by the state ptogtams

 

could not be transferred unless the facility

 

in question had been inspected and

 

the new owner agreed to take appropriate

 

measures to address the results of the

 

inspection within 30 days of assuming

 

ownership.

 

In the event of an emergency, a drinking

 

water provider would be able to take

 

such legal steps as seeking a restraining

 

order or a temporary or permanent injunction

 

“to address any activity or facility

 

that may present an imminent

 

and substantial endangerment to the

 

health of persons” served by the water

 

provider, according to S. 1961. Meanwhile,

 

states forced to conduct emergency

 

response activities as a result of the release

 

of chemicals from a storage facility

 

would have the right to recover from the

 

facility owner any costs associated with

 

the response.

 

The Chemical Safety and Drinking

 

Water Protection Act of 2014 was referred

 

to the Senate Committee on Environment

 

and Public Works, which

 

is chaired by Senatot Batbara Boxer

 

(D-California), a cosponsor of the bill.

 

On February 4 that committee’s Water

 

and Wildlife Subcommittee held a

 

hearing to investigate the chemical spill

 

in West Virginia. Discussing the accident

 

in Charleston, Senator Ben Cardin

 

(D-Maryland), the subcommittee

 

chair, noted that the existing regulatory

 

framework for ensuring public health

 

“did not work on January ninth.” Rather,

 

the “system failed,” he said.

 

This assessment was seconded by

 

Erik Olson, the senior strategic director

 

for health and food at the Natural

 

Resources Defense Council, of New

 

York City. Testifying before the subcommittee,

 

Olson voiced his support

 

for S. 1961, although he contended

 

that inspections of chemical storage

 

facilities should be conducted annually

 

rather than, as called for in the bill,

 

every thtee or five years. He also called

 

upon Congress to provide increased

 

funding for treatment facilities as part

 

of the Drinking Water State Revolving

 

Fund, noting that such funding

 

would help communities install treatment

 

systems better able to protect

 

people from contaminants in sutface

 

water.

 

In the event of a chemical spill to surface

 

waters, drinking water providers

 

would benefit from having advance information

 

about the types of chemicals

 

present in their watersheds, said Brent

 

Fewell, a partner in the Washington,

 

D.C., office of Troutman Sanders LLP.

 

Testifying on behalf of United Water,

 

of Harrington Park, New Jersey, Fewell

 

expressed support for the legislation’s

 

provisions calling for states to share with

 

drinking water providers information

 

about chemicals stored in their watersheds.

 

However, Fewell voiced concern

 

that water utilities serving large areas

 

might be inundated with more information

 

than they could handle. “It will

 

do no good to simply dump reams of

 

paper and data on these systems and expect

 

the problem to go away,” he said.

 

 

[ 1 4 ] C i v i l E n g i n e e r i n g M A R C H 2 0 1 4

 

Instead, priority should be given to providing

 

utilities with information about

 

the chemical storage facilities that are

 

closest to their drinking water sources,

 

Fewell noted.

 

Some witnesses advised the senators

 

to exercise legislative restraint rather

 

than hurriedly pass a bill in the wake

 

of the Charleston spill. For example,

 

Richard Faulk, a partner in the Washington,

 

D.C, law firm of Hollingsworth

 

LLP, argued that local and state

 

officials in West Virginia should be allowed

 

to investigate the causes of the

 

recent accident and develop responses

 

that address the circumstances there.

 

“A one-size-fits-all federal approach

 

may sometimes even reduce safety by

 

preempting broader or more effectively

 

tailored solutions that are already

 

working,” Faulk said.

 

Boxet rebuffed such a hands-off approach,

 

maintaining that the threat of

 

chemical spills nationwide necessitated

 

a federal response. “We’ve got a massive

 

problem,” she said, noting that no

 

firm figures exist regarding the number

 

of aboveground storage tanks that

 

are located near drinking water supplies.

 

“We need an assessment” of the extent

 

to which such storage facilities pose a

 

threat to water supplies, Boxer said, arguing

 

that S. 1961 would provide the

 

best way to achieve this goal.

 

The question of who is to pay for

 

the regulatory activities called for in

 

S. 1961 was raised in a February 3 letter

 

to the Water and Wildlife Subcommittee

 

sent by the American Water Works

 

Association, of Denver, and the Association

 

of Metropolitan Water Agencies, of

 

Washington, D.C. Much like the federal

 

government, “most state governments

 

are operating under very tight or

 

declining budgets,” the groups stated in

 

their letter. “Therefore, any new chemical

 

facility-monitoring program

 

enacted tinder {the Safe

 

Drinking Water Act] must

 

include a sufficient authorization

 

to offset at least some

 

of the implementation costs.

 

Otherwise, these new activities

 

will come at the expense

 

of other ongoing water quality

 

oversight activities or badly

 

needed infrastructure investments.”

 

As introduced, S. 1961 includes no provisions

 

authorizing additional fianding

 

to cover the activities it would require

 

of states.

 

Others question whether the Safe

 

Drinking Water Act is the appropriate

 

legislative vehicle for a new program

 

intended to regulate chemical storage

 

facilities. For example, Jim Taft, the

 

executive director of the Association

 

of State Drinking Water Administrators,

 

which has its headquarters in Arlington,

 

Virginia, supports the overall

 

goals of S. 1961 but notes, “We are concerned

 

about state drinking water programs

 

being the implementer” of such

 

a program. State drinking water progtams

 

oversee approximately

 

150,000 public water systems,

 

Taft says, but have no

 

experience collecting chemical

 

inventories and inspecting

 

chemical storage facilities.

 

WAY LANDERS

 

 

Jay Landers is a contributing

 

 

 

editor to Civil Engineering

 

 

 

 

 

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