Maybe you have seen protesters in pictures or on TV holding "Stop fracking" signs and speaking about environment protection. They are part of a large population in the U.S. that sees the relatively new method of getting natural gas out of rock deep in the earth as disturbing. Chemicals are used and released in the process, and health and environmental advocates attack the process as potentially toxic.
Creating environmental standards and new laws regarding pollution always includes debate. The American struggle is balancing the importance of protecting the environment and the importance of protecting the economy.
Many businesses use manufacturing processes that potentially expose the environment to pollutants. To some extent, this is simply the consequence of living in the modern world. Still, the health and safety of the community are important, which is why the Clean Air Act states that there are limits to how much and what types of chemicals can go into the environment. Often it is violations of this act, and enforcement by the EPA, that will prompt businesses to develop more careful policies to prevent chemical exposure. This is what happened with a glass manufacturer that has operating locations in several states, including Georgia. The EPA issued two citations to the company after they made changes to their furnaces which caused an increase in NOX emissions. They were also charged with not obtaining the required pre-construction permits required by state and federal authorities. Potential consequences of these pollutants include smog, acid rain and respiratory illness.
When getting home from work, it is so nice to take off your shoes, grab a snack, put your feet up on the couch and take a deep breath. It's been a busy day, and you deserve this moment of relaxation. But is that deep breath you're taking a toxic one?