When federal environmental assessments are performed early in the planning phase of an agency, this can aid in making certain that environmental issues, as well as social and economic issues, are incorporated into decision-making. According to Gibbons, since environmental risks are also hazardous to the financial capability and social suitability of the agency, environmental assessments, whether or not mandated by law, are now regarded as excellent business practices. Environmental assessments are necessary to carry out in agencies in which the federal government is concerned under precise circumstances illustrated in the act. If any of these legislative requirements are absent, there is no power to carry out an environmental assessment, even in what may otherwise be considered as undeniable circumstances.
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The United States Environmental Protection Agency assessed the most important and controversial environmental issue concerning mercury emissions. In March 2005, nine states filed lawsuits against the agency. The agency’s chief assessor had affirmed that the agency’s mercury release parameters did not adhere to the Clean Air Act. The regulations were also apparently influenced by the top politicians of the country. The lawsuit charged that the agency’s verdict permitting exclusion from utmost available power technology was unlawful. It also alleged that the agency’s pollution system permitted power plants to give up decreasing mercury emissions. The lawsuits helped in remedying the situation because numerous states started ratifying their mercury emission policies (Collin 97).
Upon the analysis of the assessment, the main problem was that mercury emissions were an inevitable issue to the elite. This is due to the fact most of the mercury plants belonged to the elite who did not want to risk their wealth from the assessments made by the environmental agencies. However, there were alternatives to this problem. The most preferred alternative was the awareness conventions concerning the cumulative environmental risks of mercury pollution worldwide as well as having follow-up programs for the agency. The follow-up programs were to authenticate the precision of the agency’s environmental assessment. They were also to determine the efficiency of any actions taken to alleviate the unpleasant environmental effects by the agency without compromising the environmental protection (Croitoru and Sarraf 146).
The magnitude of the problem is that mercury emissions pose danger to human beings, living creatures, and plant life. By decreasing mercury use and emissions to the atmosphere, these threats would minimize. Environmental assessment of mercury emissions is vital in minimizing the risk factors that mercury poses.
The assessment was of importance because it was to provide an unbiased set of rules concerning mercury emission policies and to also improve the quality of future environmental assessments. It was also to implement adaptive management measures. Environmental results are examined so that counteractive actions may be taken, if necessary. New improvement procedures may be executed, or current ones may be customized. The Agency has designed its quality assurance program to include both compliance monitoring and quality considerations, and it has produced various reports and proposals concerning environmental assessment (Frances 93).
If there was a failure to carry out a deliberate environmental assessment, this would result in intolerable environmental harm that would occur worldwide as well as high cleanup and other costs in the future. Environmental degradation would eventually rise to levels higher than it now is without any environmental assessment (Costanza and Jorgensen 210).
Collin, Robert. The Environmental Protection Agency: Cleaning up America’s Act. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2006. Print.
This book offers a chronological synopsis of the Environmental Protection Agency from its commencement in 1970 to date.
Costanza, Robert, and Steve Erik Jorgensen. Understanding and Solving Environmental Problems in the 21st Century; Toward a New, Integrated Hard Problem Science. Amsterdam; Boston: Elsevier, 2002. Print.
The purpose of this book is to promote the integration of the social and natural sciences to create a better comprehension of intricate environmental concerns.
Croitoru, Leila, and Maria Sarraf. The Cost of Environmental Degradation: Case Studies from the Middle East and North Africa. Washington, DC: World Bank, 2010. Print.
This book collects the best case studies of assessing environmental degradation expenses in North Africa and the Middle East and reviews their impacts.
Harris, Frances. Global Environmental Issues. 2nd ed. Chichester, West Sussex; Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. Print.
This book discusses key international environmental matters in an informative approach with several illustrations and case studies.
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Gibbons, Whit. What are our top 10 Environmental Problems? 2006. Web.
Online Environmental Forum. 2012. This source deals with the top ten environmental challenges such as global climate change and pollution in order of increasing importance.