January 01, 2014

Vantage Point

Patrick J. Paul

This issue of Natural Resources & Environment delves into the myriad of topics surrounding waste, both nationally and internationally. The authors explore renewable uses for certain types of waste as well as issues that evolve from changes in climate and technology. The wide diversity of topics reflects the scope of challenges and opportunities facing society as it struggles with growth and resource demands.

In the first article, Emily Russell writes on lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy impacting federal Superfund sites. She observes that as discussion on addressing impacts of climate change has trended from mitigation toward adaptation, the role of climate change in the remediation of Superfund sites has been ignored. In her opinion, the federal Superfund law is on the verge of revival. She notes that one of the overlooked effects of Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina was releases of hazardous substances from Superfund sites into surrounding communities. She urges consideration of the impacts of flooding, sea level rise, and more frequent hurricanes on the nation’s Superfund sites.

Michael Mills and Robin Seifried offer their thoughts on fracking wastewater. They note that concerns relating to fracking include impacts to drinking water and increased earthquake activity. Their article discusses the potential environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing and how those impacts should be addressed under current and future law.


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