Environment Response Essay, Research Paper
All around America, there are many examples of Federalism involving environmental protection and preservation. Often, states will take care of small situations or those that are situated in their state only. However sometimes, issues get too big or too important to be resolved by the state governments alone, so the federal government involves themselves. Because of our current political system, the federal government is dominant over the state?s rule. Things like Everglades?s revitalization, Chesapeake Bay cleanup/ protection, and toxic waste storage in the Yucca Mountains can be handled by the states since the territories are in the states themselves. Be that as it may, the territories are also located in America which is governed by the federal government. Thus, if the federal government intervenes, then the influence of the state will be constrained. This is the definition of federalism.
Both federal and state governments are concerned about the preservation of the Everglades. In fact, there has been a proposal passed to help keep the Everglades clean. ?The Everglades Protection Area shall be defined as set forth in s. 373.4592, F.S. The phosphorus criterion for the Everglades Protection Area shall be 10 parts per billion (ppb) and shall apply to all predominantly freshwater portions of the Everglades Protection Area. Compliance with the phosphorus criterion shall be based upon a long-term geometric mean of concentration levels to be measured at sampling stations recognized from the research to be reasonably representative of receiving waters in the Everglades Protection Area, and so located so as to assure that the Everglades Protection Area is not altered so as to cause an imbalance in natural populations of aquatic flora and fauna and to assure a net improvement in the areas already impacted.? This proposes that the levels of phosphorus and pollution should be measured thoroughly at water sampling stations. These sampling stations will be located so not to alter the current land space of the Everglades. This is to prevent an imbalance in the population around the area. The state governments hope that this will allow us to monitor the water more carefully and at the same time not disturb the existing wildlife.
The Chesapeake Bay is currently being polluted by drainage and toxins carried by rainwater as it flows through streams and rivers towards the Bay. In the past, builders and constructors used to plan their buildings so ?that rainwater was quickly flushed away from buildings and into drainage ponds or nearby creeks.? The problem with this is that over time, the streams and ponds would fill with dirt and sediment and then over flow which causes more pollution. Now they try to place their buildings in respect to where the rainwater will flow to. They also plan to add small patches of vegetation and gardens in places like parking lots or other sites with hard surfaces to soak up the water and replenish the groundwater. ?But those efforts alone will not be enough to stem the flow of polluted runoff, which is why officials hope to lead the way in demonstrating new technologies that can dramatically decrease rainwater pollution.? Hopefully this problem can be resolved quickly before anymore damage is done. ?In Maryland and Virginia, a handful of municipalities, including Montgomery County, Takoma Park, Prince William County and jurisdictions in the Hampton Roads area, have established utility taxes or fees for maintaining old storm drainage systems.? This may drive away resident and/or businesses from their area. So far this runoff is responsible for polluting almost 1,600 miles of streams and destroying habitats for crabs, fish, and other aquatic life. Land erosion is also growing worse and worse.
An example of federal government versus sate government is shown in the case where the Department of Energy (DOE) overrode expectations defined by the state of Nevada to meet its own requirements. In fact, they lowered the standards from what they were. This enables the federal government to dispose of nuclear waste at a site in the Yucca Mountains. They claim they have researched on the area to make sure it is safe and will not spread. However, according to other research done from 1982, there are fault lines caused by earthquakes can ?actually channel water and spread radioactive material.? They are considering storing the nuclear wastes in ?pellet? form in cylinders to prevent the wastes from contaminating the soil around it. DOE is confident that these wastes will stay away for 10,000 years. Even still, the governor and attorney general of Nevada are taking this matter to court.
According to our current government structure, the federal government is superior over the state governments. Even in matters that concern the states, the federal government can still intervene and rule absolute. This can be an advantage and disadvantage. The federal government can help push an action to be completed, or it can loan great sums of money or resources. Despite that, the federal government can make a decision that is totally against a state?s wishes or is completely wrong which can lead to disaster. We should adapt a new and better form of government in which the federal government can only intervene in a case when requested but it?s actions can be vetoed and controlled.