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Published on : Feb 10, 2014
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Slide 1 - Water Pollution
Slide 2 - OUTLINE Introduction Water subject to pollution Pollutants Domestic Policy International Policy International watercourse Marine Pollution Development of regime Land-based Sources Dumping Pollution from Ships Liability Conclusion
Slide 3 - Introduction Two types of water subject to pollution Surface water – rivers, lakes, oceans Uses: drinking, recreational [fishing, boating, swimming], irrigation. Groundwater- occurs beneath a water table in soils or rocks; subject to pollution from toxic chemicals. Uses: drinking, irrigation, etc
Slide 4 - Contamination Nature of sources of contamination [point and non-point] Point source: discharge into surface waters at a specific location through a pipe, outfall or ditch.]
Slide 5 - Non-point: Indirect or diffuse effect on water [N/B. more difficult to control] e.g. agricultural activities, urban run-off
Slide 6 - Sources of contamination For Groundwater -polluting substances leach into a water-saturated region [e.g. toxic chemicals] -Mainly due to migration of pollutants from sites with high concentrations of chemicals [e.g. industrial waste sites and farms]
Slide 7 - Sources of contamination For Surface water Rivers and lakes Point source: -sewage [municipal or private] - industrial wastes Non-point source: Agricultural activity [e.g. pesticides, fertilizers]. urban and highway water runoff. Ocean [oil spills, dumping, land-based sources] Oil spills – during transportation, either accidentally or intentionally Dumping –sewage, chemical disposal, radioactive materials Land-based sources –migration of chemical substances.
Slide 8 - Types of Pollutants [Fund and accumulating pollutants] I) Fund pollutants -Environment has some assimilative capacity. If capacity for absorption higher than rate of injection, they may not accumulate. a) Degradable degrades/break into component parts within water. Are normally organic residuals attacked and broken down by bacteria and become less harmful. b) Thermal pollution caused by injection of heat into watercourses by an industrial plant or electric utility using surface water as a coolant, and returning the heated water to the watercourse.
Slide 9 - c) Plant nutrients [nitrogen and phosphorus][eutrophic/ eutrophication =excess supply of nutrients in a lake] stimulate growth of aquatic plant life, e.g. algae and water weeds. can produce odor if in excess. d) Infectious organisms [e.g. bacteria and viruses] carried into both ground and surface water by domestic and animal wastes; industrial wastes e.g. tanning and meat packaging Are live organisms that may thrive and multiply in water or decline.
Slide 10 - II) Accumulating/stock pollutants Environment has little or no absorptive capacity [i.e. no natural process removes/transforms them]. accumulate over time. Examples: non-biodegradable bottles, heavy metals [e.g. lead, mercury]; persistent synthetic chemicals [e.g. dioxin, and PCBs –polychlorinated biphenyls] not easily broken down; so can remain in water for long. also accumulate in the food chain.
Slide 11 - Water Pollution Control Policy: Domestic Dimension [U.S.] Water Pollution Control Act, 1956 i) Federal financial support for construction of waste treatment plants focused on a control strategy based on subsidizing construction of waste treatment plants as a particular control activity. Municipalities would receive grant of upto 55% for construction of waste treatment plants. ii) Enforcement conference mechanism sought to effect direct federal regulation of waste discharges Federal authority could call for a conference of interstate water pollution problem.
Slide 12 - Clean Water Act, 1972 Two goals elimination of discharge of pollutants into navigable waters by 1985 achieve water quality for fishing and recreation [swimming]. New procedures for implementing the law introduced permits for all dischargers [qualification based on meeting certain technology-based effluent standards]. especially sewage treatment plants and factories. first ‘best practicable control technology currently available [BPT] later, ‘best available technology economically achievable’[BAT] Raised ceiling of subsidizing municipal waste treatment plants to 75%
Slide 13 - Safe Drinking Water Act, 1974, amended 1986 Improvement on 1972 Act to include drinking water. EPA regulations set maximum levels for pollutants for community water systems. All community water systems must prepare and distribute annual reports about the water they provide, including information on detected contaminants, possible health effects, and the water's source.
Slide 14 - Domestic policy on international waters: Ocean I) Oil spills – covered under the Clean Water Act: prohibits discharges of harmful quantities of oil into navigable waters industry assume responsibility for any damage [clean up; compensation for environmental restoration. II) Dumping Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act, 1972. address discharges of waste within U.S. territorial limits by U.S. vessels or persons in any ocean waters.
Slide 15 - Domestic Policy on Non-Point sources Unlike point source, is largely state responsibility Federal grants for state-initiated plans for waste treatment management. Federal programs for aiding control of non-point sources e.g. Conservation Reserve Program aimed at removing 40-45 million acres of erodible land from cultivation.
Slide 16 - International Dimension:Transboundary watercourses
Slide 17 - International Watercourses rivers, lakes, or groundwater sources shared by two or more states. Geographical problem: how much of the watercourse is to be included? i) portion that crosses or defines a boundary. Problem: impedes efficient environmental management of transboundary waters . ii) entire watershed or river basin [basin approach] associated lakes, tributaries, groundwater systems, and connecting waterways wherever they are located. Problem: limitations on use of a substantial portion of a country’s water system and its associated catchment areas requirements to provide an environmental good on watercourse states for themselves as well as others [neighbors].
Slide 18 - Pollution permissible uses. Greater tolerance of polluting uses? Few modern treaties endorse an absolute prohibition of pollution. Modern trend require states to regulate and control river pollution, prohibiting only certain forms of pollutant discharges. Example North America: - prohibition of boundary waters only when human health or property were injured. Until 1973, U.S. maintained it did not have an obligation to deliver quality water to Mexico from Colorado river, provided its polluting use of the river for irrigation was reasonable. State practice, however, points to prohibition of certain toxic discharges.
Slide 19 - 1997 UN Watercourses Convention watercourse states prevent, reduce, and control pollution of a watercourse causing significant harm to other states. Not absolute prohibition, but means states act with due diligence. Thus, pollution permissible if, Insignificant harm, Significant but unavoidable by exercise of due diligence. Significant of above to pollution and environment: Protection of river environment and its living resources must compete with other equitable claims. No claim [e.g. industrial waste disposal vs. fishing] has priority [although ‘special regard’ must be given to ‘vital human needs’]
Slide 20 - Unusual example 1976 Rhine Chlorides Convention [force, 1985] reduce French Chloride discharges into the river, and prevent increases in discharges by other states. Reversal of the polluter pays principle cost of measures taken by France to reduce chloride distributed across all riparian states including injured ones.
Slide 22 - PROTECTION OF MARINE ENVIRONMENT Development of regulation of marine pollution was slower than that of other aspects of the sea [[e.g. Fisheries 1911 convention on Fur Seals] Two stages in development Laissez Faire : London Convention for Prevention of Pollution of the Sea by Oil. did not entirely prohibit discharge of oil from ships at sea. 1954. Duty to protect environment from Pollution: UNCLOS phase 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Seas [UNCLOS] formulated obligation in terms comprehensive of all sources. [ships, land-based sources, seabed operations, dumping, and atmospheric pollution]
Slide 23 - I) On land-based sources Unlike pollution from ships and dumping, no requirement for adherence to any minimum international standards. Each state determine what measures to take, and which substances to act on. Reason for generality: balance environmental protection measures against economic imperatives Regional regimes
Slide 24 - International Policy on Dumping Both London Dumping Convention and UNCLOS initially sought to control, not prohibit, dumping. Dumping was permissible unless proven harmful. Consequent to Rio in 1992 where the precautionary principle was adopted, dumping is now prohibited unless there is no alternative, and can be proved to be harmless to environment [shift in burden of proof]
Slide 25 - III) POLLUTION FROM SHIPS purpose of regulation is minimize the risk and give coastal states adequate means of protecting themselves and securing compensation MARPOL, 1973/ amended 1978 ]. Jurisdiction to regulate Pollution Flag state –the state in which the ship is registered or whose flag it is entitled to fly. cooperation of coastal states, port states and flag states in the system of certification, inspection and reporting .
Slide 26 - Responsibility and Liability for Damage Two Conventions 1969 Convention on civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage; updated by 1992. 1996 Convention on Liability and Compensation for the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by sea. State responsibility for damage Civil liability Who claims liability costs: e.g. fisherfolks and hoteliers. Environmental Damage Compensation for impairment of the environment; limited to costs of reasonable measures of reinstatement.
Slide 27 - Conclusion Non-point source control is the least developed of water pollution control programs/policies. What is the source of this difficulty? In what two ways [at both domestic and international levels] can the difficulty be addressed/mitigated?