Using technology to turn the tide on climate change | Goldberg Segalla

An inter-agency technical report on 2022 sea level rise, compiled by various government agencies, found that global mean sea level could rise between one and seven feet by 2100. This would have impacts significant for more than 40% of Americans who live near coastal waters. Coastal flooding can have major impacts on infrastructure, such as roads and homes, as well as many other human health impacts. For example, sea level rise can also threaten hazardous waste facilities, such as landfills, located along the US coast.

Therefore, on May 18, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched an interactive map of sea level rise around hazardous waste sites along the U.S. coast to help these facilities and communities surrounding areas to become more resilient to climate change by allowing them to independently assess their sea level rise. vulnerabilities. This tool is especially important in light of the EPA’s recent biennial report, which found that in 2019, 1.6 million tons of hazardous waste was managed at facilities that would be affected by sea level rise. five feet or more, which includes waste from more than 55 facilities. This tool also references information from the Interagency Sea Level Rise Technical Report on various scenarios that will affect sea level rise over time, which depend on several factors, including future gases at greenhouse effect.

Additionally, according to the EPA, this new tool is part of a “whole of government” approach to addressing the climate crisis and protecting communities. It will further demonstrate “how the climate crisis intersects with and exacerbates significant environmental challenges that disproportionately affect overburdened and underresourced communities.” In particular, communities whose residents are predominantly of color, Indigenous, or low-income are also more likely to live near hazardous waste facilities, making them disproportionately vulnerable to toxic leaks and contamination from flooding. .

To help address these environmental justice concerns, the EPA offers guidance to help facilities and communities develop debris management plans before natural disasters occur. These actions include constructing physical barriers, putting in place engineering controls, designating containment, monitoring and treatment systems, and foundation infrastructure to withstand the changing conditions of the identified climate threat, and the design of landfills or remediation ceilings resistant to the identified threat.

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