Teaching kids to analyze environmental data.

As an exercise for the Eldest in percentages and social science, I created a handout listing all the EPA Superfund sites for Tuscaloosa, Alabama and nearby. (Download it below if you’d like to go on this adventure with your kids.)

Superfund Sites as listed in 1997 (PDF)

I explained that the list was compiled in 1997. Our first topic of discussion was what had changed in our community since 1997- new businesses, companies, manufacturing plants, facilities, etc.- and which ones might be added to the new list as a result.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

Read and note the 2003 Uniform Environmental Covenants Act co-authored by William Henning, a professor at the University of Alabama Law School. How do you think this Act will help reduce or remediate environmental problems in our state? What are its limitations? Why might the drafting authors have agreed to settle for these limitations? Explain.

Warrior Asphalt Company is located in our zip code. According to the EPA website, a rosin spill was discovered in 1981. Review the online timeline of how this hazardous spill was monitored and assessed. In 2013, an administrative order on consent was issued. What does this mean? What might you expect to see next on the timeline? Why? Also why does the website say “NFRAP-Site does not qualify for the NPL based on existing information”? What does this mean?

In 2011, a Tuscaloosa Tornado Response was issued for 3700 KAULOOSA AVENUE and an on-site removal was conducted by Leo Francendese. What chemical or hazardous material was removed? How do you know? How might you find out? Why would this information remain unlisted?

What hazard did KMG Bermuth leave in the community?

Fuels and Chemicals, located in Coaling, Alabama, has an extensive case history with the EPA beginning in 1993 and last updated in 2009. What was the most recent action noted on the website? What was the result?

In 1998, Reliance Steel, located in nearby Cottondale, was added to the active site list. Using the data on the EPA website, provide a two-paragraph summary of the incident, the problem, the company itself, and what is being done to address it.

In 1988, a severe lead-based pollution was recorded at Central Foundry. Unlike other sites, this one is now listed as a federal site. What is currently located at the Central Foundry site (hint: use Google maps to help).

What was the Norfolk Railroad “SH release” in 2002? Do research through online news sources to see if the press covered the incident. Take notes. The incident itself was resolved in just one day. What was the “potentially responsible party emergency removal”?

The Alabama Dept. of Environmental Management is preparing to issue a consent order to Billy Boyd Realty and Construction Company. Why? Study the online document.