- Hazardous waste disposal - Dealing with prior mismanagement
Hazardous waste has been disposed of on land via deep-well injection, surface impoundments and landfills.
Unfortunately, this was not well managed initially, leading to leaking and also illegal dumping of waste. In New York State, Hooker Chemical did not dispose of hazardous waste correctly, dumping waste into an abandoned canal called Love Canal near Niagara Falls. They filled it with hazardous waste and covered it over with a clay cap. The company then sold the land to a local school saying that there were chemicals on the property.
However, rain seeped through, spreading waste and chemicals in every direction. After public outrage and many lawsuits, Hooker Chemical paid out over $233 million via its parent company Occidental Petroleum.
There were over 75,000 active industrial sites in the United States in the early 1980s, many of which contained toxic materials. Some have been closed while others still have to be cleaned up. Many cases of contamination were only discovered after people experienced extended unexplainable sicknesses.
Dealing with prior mismanagement issues involves: - clean up of prior landfills and mistakes - regulating the handling and disposal of wastes today - and reducing hazardous waste being produced.