Abstract Eastern Rupee’s environmental problems are not as simple as they may seem on the surface. The environmental problems that face Eastern Europe are complicated by political, economic, and social implications. The current environmental problems are a bi-product of rapid industrial expansion under a socialist government. The soviet government was more concerned with surpassing the western cultures in technology and military might than the environmental damage they were doing to their country. The following paragraphs will address the current environmental problems facing Eastern
Europe, the various solutions to the environmental problems, and the efforts taken to correct the environmental problems. Environmental Problems in Europe Eastern Europe during the asses had rapidly become the industrial giant for the Soviet Union. Massive industrial factories would be built throughout the eastern bloc of the Soviet Union and the factories used obsolete technology to provide the industrial needs of the country. “The heavy industrial activity characteristic of the post-World War II period took a heavy toll on both the region’s population and its environment”(LLC. S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2010).
Various local populations were suffering from high rates of cancer, respiratory issues, and infant moralities. The environments in the areas around the industrial regions were also being damaged on unprecedented levels. Legacy of Pollution According to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (2010), The outmoded, energy-intensive technologies were such an integral part of Central and Eastern Europe (ICE) and New Independent States of the former Soviet Union (EN’S) region’s economy in the post-war era not only wasted sources, but also caused severe local, regional, and trans-boundary pollution problems.
Not only was the industrial technology outdated, the communication among the post-war government, local governments, and various environmental ministries was ripe with secrecy and non-communication between each other. The results would prove to be catastrophic pollution of the air, surface water, soil, ground water, marine zones, and coastal areas. Air Pollution Air pollution in Eastern Europe is the top concern because of the levels of sulfur dioxide found in all the industrial areas.
High levels of sulfur dioxide exposure can lead to asthmatic children and adults, respiratory illness, decreased lung defenses, and worsening Of existing cardiovascular diseases. When Sulfur Dioxide is exposed to rain it creates acid rain and raises the acidity level of everything it touches such as soil, lakes, and streams. Buildings corrode faster and there is also a reduction in visibility. Water Pollution Agricultural and industrial practices were causing large spread water pollution because of outdated waste regulation practices and no environmental regulation.
According to Oilier (1 990), Drinking-water supplies throughout Eastern Europe are heavily contaminated. Vast reaches of the Fistula River in Poland, which drains much of the country, are classified as unfit for use even by industry. The Baltic and Black Sea coasts are badly degraded by domestic sewage, agricultural run-off, and heavy metals and organic pollutants from industry. The Eastern Europe governments have been slow to implement solutions to purify the drinking water in the various regions.
Soil Pollution Samples of produce from upper Poland have yielded 30 to 70 higher regenerates of cadmium, lead, zinc and mercury then acceptable levels listed by the World Health Organization. The high percentages of these heavy materials indicate how polluted the soil is in the upper polish regions. In Hungary alone, waste generators dispose Of more than 500,000 tons waste found in illegal landfills. The local government has trouble tracking any kind of waste transportation and disposal due to obsolete tracking processes, and because not all waste is indicated as waste before being disposed of.
Eastern Europe is wreaked with not only environmental problems, but also tit government, and local government problems also. The good news is that there are viable solutions to the environmental problems that the Eastern Europe countries are having. Viable Environmental Solutions The environmental problems that face Central and Eastern Europe are much the same as any other country in the world with one exception, the proximity of the environmental hazards. Most countries in the world deal with environmental hazards, but the hazards are spread out over different parts of the country.
Central and Eastern Europe are unique when it comes o environmental disasters because Central and Eastern Europe was the industrial might behind the soviet military. For every environmental disaster Central and Eastern Europe faces, there is a viable solution thanks to modern technology and proven environmental regulations. Possible environmental solutions Because of the vast environmental disasters throughout Central and Eastern Europe there are several possible environmental solutions.
The possible environmental solutions that Central and Eastern Europe are considering will be decided by the cost of the solution, ease of implementation, and consultation from environmental agencies such as the United States Environmental Agency. Even with the various economic, governmental agency communication problems, and various ecological disasters Central and Eastern Europe have a number of viable solutions. Air Pollution Solutions One of the possible remedies for air quality in Europe would be to switch to burning low sulfur coal.
When coal is burned, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and mercury compounds are released. For that reason, coal- fired boilers are required to have control devices to reduce the amount of missions that are released. The amount of sulfur oxides produced by power can be reduced by using coal with low amounts of sulfur present. Another possible air solution would be to use scrubbers. Scrubbers are an air pollution control system that removes pollutants from the air stream they are most commonly used to help control the emissions of sulfur into our air.
There are a few pipes of scrubber, Air scrubbers, wet scrubbers, and gas scrubbers are differentiated by the manner in which they remove gases and particulates from the air; either wet or dry. Wet scrubbers literally wash dust ND particles out of the air. Exhaust air is forced into a spray chamber, where fine water particles cause the dust to drop from the air stream. The dust- laden water is then treated to remove the solid material and is often re- circulated. Dry scrubbers are used more commonly with acid gases.
The pollutant is collected On or in a solid or liquid material, which is injected into the gas stream. A dry scrubber produces a dry product that must be collected downstream from this control device. Water Pollution Solutions One of the many possible water pollution solutions would be aeration. Aerating is the process to bring river water at the bottom of rivers up to the surface so that the entire river is oxygenated by the atmosphere surface to bottom. They can do this by pumping air into bodies of water at the very bottom.
On the other hand Central and Eastern Europe could use more wastewater treatment plants these types of plants would drastically help the water quality in Central and Eastern Europe by removing harmful bacteria’s, animal wastes and pollutants and then recycling the clean water back into their system.. Soil There are many different types of soil pollution that hurt the environment ND by treating Sewage before dumping wastes would cut back on many of the current environmental issues.
Spraying pesticides may be good for the crops but MIS destroying the soil and the drain off into the water system is affected by this as well. Cutting down on the usage of fossil fuels would create less solid waste and harmful gases that may seep into the soil. Eastern Europe needs to adapt to more of these possible solutions. Using low sulfur coals, Scrubbers and limestone in the remedies of air pollution would set a chain reaction in the environment the water would then become leaner along with the soil.
These remedies may not fix the issue completely for Eastern Europe, but it would help them greatly. Efforts to correct Central and Eastern Europe have been left untouched since the end of the Nazi/German rule and the fall of the Great Berlin Wall on November 9th, 1989. Many of the people living in such a terrible environment still struggle every day to survive, but it is not a war against other countries it has turned into an environmental war and one that is near impossible for them to win without help. As with most all larger countries around the world Eastern and
Central Europe are suffering from the same types of environmental issues but, in their case they do not have the means that we do in order to make the necessary changes that they need. Practical and low cost solutions need to be the wave of the future and used as often as possible. The problems need to be prioritize based on the highest health risk and the surrounding public will be educated and involved in its’ own environmental decision making. AIR- Airborne pollution is said to be one of the greatest environmental risks identified in the region.
There is a large amount of sulfur dioxide found in the IR, it comes from several different places but are byproducts of several different types of older industrial facilities like the old coal burning power plants that used to be found there (ERA). The Ignited states are one of the few countries in which it is a law for vehicle owners to participate in an annual emissions test. The Czech government however has accelerated its’ efforts in cleaning the air pollution through it $240 million project that will assist its residents in converting homes from coal to natural gas in hopes to subsidize conversion costs (EPA).
Along with this local agencies in many areas lack the equipment needed to assess and identify local problems so the Krakow Air Monitoring project. This project is under the supervision of the EPA and the Polish environmental experts are working together to identify and measure the major sources of industrial, residential and vehicle emissions testing (EPA). Along with such a huge problem facing the countries the EPA has also transferred some very low-cost techniques to help them out.
Water pollution- Along with clean air there is the Krakow Water and Wastewater Improvement project, the idea here is to provide safe drinking water to city residents. Most people are drinking from contaminated drinking sources, especially those outside of the city limits. The idea here is not only to decontaminate the water before it is consumed, but to attack the problem at the source and to educate the people of the possible affects that waste dumping in insecure facilities can have on them and their families.
The Krakow project as a result installed modern connation and chlorination equipment that in turn disinfected the drinking water of 400,000 residents in the area. It also focused on the improvement the forming of the Arab River Watershed Association as well as focusing on the agricultural runoff into local streams and rivers (EPA). In addition to this a team of EPA, Wisconsin, and Latvia environmental managers have also come up with a solution to protect supplies of future ground water in Disvalues, this is where the national ground water protection strategy is based.
Solid and Hazardous Waste- All types Of waste needs to be dumped somewhere and the most contaminated solid waste sites are often found on military bases in Eastern Europe. They can be found on active or former military’ base cites, these are still dumping ties. Children in these areas are affected the most and are still being diagnosed with very high blood-lead levels, due to these case studies the EPA has provided special equipment and training to local officials to assess possible impacts of lead exposure.
Due to such high levels of exposure in certain areas additional support has been provided by Romania officials to assist areas in the cleanup of contaminated soil, the Czech Council of Ministers even committed to assist the cleanup of future development cites by approving $40 million to get started, this is called Project Ecclesia. This is to the only cleanup plan in effect there is also the Solid Waste Policy Demonstration Project, this idea helps to train local communities in the proper way to carry out more effective policies of cleaning and recycling waste.
Pilot programs include the construction of new sanitary landfills, the cleanup of existing landfills, curbside recycling, are probably the most important public outreach programs taking place (EPA). Technology Transfer- the EPA has also helped with the development of a geographic information system (GIS), this system helps to track different trends that occur over time. The GIS is a computer-based mapping system that over time will Store and track other environmental information that identifies pollution source and tracks it over time.
This system will help the public become more informed and promote better decision making (EPA). The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Management Project is yet one more idea that is hoped to assist different storage areas of nuclear material in a quick-turnaround of radiochemistry data in case of any future leaks and potential disasters. To be able to assist such tracking a mobile radiology laboratory was created by the EPA along tit the United Nations Development Program and SAID, have provided the Ukraine with possibly one of the world’s best equipped mobile radiation monitoring laboratories.