New And Precise Article Critic

New And Precise Article Critic

The Article Critique is required to be a minimum of two pages to a maximum of four pages, double-spaced, APA style,

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from the journals and articles available in our CSU Library Databases. The article should deal with any of the material




presented in the first three units of this course. The article itself must be more than one page in length. The article critique




should include the following components:





 A brief introduction of the article


 Analysis of the key points in the article


 Application and comparison of some points in the article that might be applied to the company you work for, or







have worked for





 Summary of the article’s conclusions and your own opinions




the article is:


Policy fíriefing




Senate Bill Aims to Prevent Chemical




Contamination of Surface Water








IHE CHEMICAL spill that








‘ recently occurred in West




Virginia and interrupted




water deliveries to approximately




300,000 of that




state’s residents has led to the introduction




of federal legislation aimed at preventing




the recurrence of such events.




Although improved protection of surface




water enjoys broad support, questions




have arisen as to who should oversee




and fijnd the additional regulatory




efforts called for in the bill.




On January 9 it was discovered that




thousands of gallons of chemicals used in




coal processing had leaked from storage




facilities at a tank farm located along the




Elk River in Charleston, West Virginia.




The chemicals entered the waterway approximately




1.5 mi upstream of a public




water supply intake, forcing officials




to recommend that residents of a ninecounty




area in and around Charleston




not use their drinking water. Lasting for




more than a week, this situation caused




considerable concern about health effects




and spurred calls for regulatory








On January 27 Senator Joe Manchin




(D-West Virginia) introduced the




Chemical Safety and Drinking Water




Protection Act of 2014 (S. 1961), legislation




that aims to protect surface water




from contamination from chemical




storage facilities. The bill would revise




the Safe Drinking Water Act to establish




state programs for overseeing and




inspecting chemical storage facilities




that are deemed to pose a risk to public




water sources. Within one year of enactment




of the legislation, states would




have to set requirements for chemical




storage facilities covered by the new




programs. These requirements would




address such topics as “acceptable standards




of good design, construction, or




maintenance,” along with leak detection,




spill and overfill control, inventory




control, inspections of facility integrity.




and life-cycle maintenance, according to




the legislation.




Additional requirements would pertain




to emergency response and communication




plans, employee training and




safety plans, and the financial responsibility




of the owners of chemical storage




facilities. States would share with drinking




water providers the emergency response




plans for chemical storage facilities




located within the same watershed,




along with an inventory of each chemical




stored at each facility.




Under S. 1961 states also would impose




minimum inspection requirements




for chemical storage facilities covered




by the new program. In particular, facilities




regarded by states as potential




contamination sources under existing




drinking water protection plans would




have to be inspected every thtee years,




while all other facilities would have to




be inspected every five years. The legislation




does not stipulate the entity that




would conduct such inspections. What




is more, ownership of chemical storage




facilities covered by the state ptogtams




could not be transferred unless the facility




in question had been inspected and




the new owner agreed to take appropriate




measures to address the results of the




inspection within 30 days of assuming








In the event of an emergency, a drinking




water provider would be able to take




such legal steps as seeking a restraining




order or a temporary or permanent injunction




“to address any activity or facility




that may present an imminent




and substantial endangerment to the




health of persons” served by the water




provider, according to S. 1961. Meanwhile,




states forced to conduct emergency




response activities as a result of the release




of chemicals from a storage facility




would have the right to recover from the




facility owner any costs associated with




the response.




The Chemical Safety and Drinking




Water Protection Act of 2014 was referred




to the Senate Committee on Environment




and Public Works, which




is chaired by Senatot Batbara Boxer




(D-California), a cosponsor of the bill.




On February 4 that committee’s Water




and Wildlife Subcommittee held a




hearing to investigate the chemical spill




in West Virginia. Discussing the accident




in Charleston, Senator Ben Cardin




(D-Maryland), the subcommittee




chair, noted that the existing regulatory




framework for ensuring public health




“did not work on January ninth.” Rather,




the “system failed,” he said.




This assessment was seconded by




Erik Olson, the senior strategic director




for health and food at the Natural




Resources Defense Council, of New




York City. Testifying before the subcommittee,




Olson voiced his support




for S. 1961, although he contended




that inspections of chemical storage




facilities should be conducted annually




rather than, as called for in the bill,




every thtee or five years. He also called




upon Congress to provide increased




funding for treatment facilities as part




of the Drinking Water State Revolving




Fund, noting that such funding




would help communities install treatment




systems better able to protect




people from contaminants in sutface








In the event of a chemical spill to surface




waters, drinking water providers




would benefit from having advance information




about the types of chemicals




present in their watersheds, said Brent




Fewell, a partner in the Washington,




D.C., office of Troutman Sanders LLP.




Testifying on behalf of United Water,




of Harrington Park, New Jersey, Fewell




expressed support for the legislation’s




provisions calling for states to share with




drinking water providers information




about chemicals stored in their watersheds.




However, Fewell voiced concern




that water utilities serving large areas




might be inundated with more information




than they could handle. “It will




do no good to simply dump reams of




paper and data on these systems and expect




the problem to go away,” he said.






[ 1 4 ] C i v i l E n g i n e e r i n g M A R C H2 0 1 4




Instead, priority should be given to providing




utilities with information about




the chemical storage facilities that are




closest to their drinking water sources,




Fewell noted.




Some witnesses advised the senators




to exercise legislative restraint rather




than hurriedly pass a bill in the wake




of the Charleston spill. For example,




Richard Faulk, a partner in the Washington,




D.C, law firm of Hollingsworth




LLP, argued that local and state




officials in West Virginia should be allowed




to investigate the causes of the




recent accident and develop responses




that address the circumstances there.




“A one-size-fits-all federal approach




may sometimes even reduce safety by




preempting broader or more effectively




tailored solutions that are already




working,” Faulk said.




Boxet rebuffed such a hands-off approach,




maintaining that the threat of




chemical spills nationwide necessitated




a federal response. “We’ve got a massive




problem,” she said, noting that no




firm figures exist regarding the number




of aboveground storage tanks that




are located near drinking water supplies.




“We need an assessment” of the extent




to which such storage facilities pose a




threat to water supplies, Boxer said, arguing




that S. 1961 would provide the




best way to achieve this goal.




The question of who is to pay for




the regulatory activities called for in




S. 1961 was raised in a February 3 letter




to the Water and Wildlife Subcommittee




sent by the American Water Works




Association, of Denver, and the Association




of Metropolitan Water Agencies, of




Washington, D.C. Much like the federal




government, “most state governments




are operating under very tight or




declining budgets,” the groups stated in




their letter. “Therefore, any new chemical




facility-monitoring program




enacted tinder {the Safe




Drinking Water Act] must




include a sufficient authorization




to offset at least some




of the implementation costs.




Otherwise, these new activities




will come at the expense




of other ongoing water quality




oversight activities or badly




needed infrastructure investments.”




As introduced, S. 1961 includes no provisions




authorizing additional fianding




to cover the activities it would require




of states.




Others question whether the Safe




Drinking Water Act is the appropriate




legislative vehicle for a new program




intended to regulate chemical storage




facilities. For example, Jim Taft, the




executive director of the Association




of State Drinking Water Administrators,




which has its headquarters in Arlington,




Virginia, supports the overall




goals of S. 1961 but notes, “We are concerned




about state drinking water programs




being the implementer” of such




a program. State drinking water progtams




oversee approximately




150,000 public water systems,




Taft says, but have no




experience collecting chemical




inventories and inspecting




chemical storage facilities.










Jay Landers is a contributing








editor to Civil Engineering