High levels of environmental pollution are one of the visible impacts of population increase in different regions of the world. Pollutants in the air, water bodies, and land surfaces affect the world’s ecosystem. This environmental problem also has an effect on the health of the inhabitants of these areas. For example, environmental analysts suggest that pollutants such as mercury and lead may result in various forms of cancer. In addition, global warming is a major instigator of chronic illnesses including skin cancer. This disruption of the natural environment also affects major subsections at a national and global perspective, an element that reduces the development rate of the economy. For example, climate change is one of the main effects of global warming. The transformation of climatic systems in various regions results in reduced agricultural production since such subsectors rely on consistent weather patterns.
Major Pollutants in South Central Ontario
In the south-central region of Ontario, the major categories of pollutants include local and widespread elements. The local contaminants are those emitted from a particular site and whose impacts are visible in a defined zone. This includes sulfur dioxide, ammonia, fluorides, and other particulate matter. In contrast, widespread contaminants accumulate and cover a large area. Most of the widespread pollutants are oxidants with the most common destructor of the environment being the ozone. This category of oxidants is a product of a complex reaction from such substances as nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 2004). Additionally, the products attained upon combusting fossil fuels and automobile exhausts are major contributors of the ozone. This photochemical reaction has numerous destructive effects on the natural environment.
Sources of Pollutants
In south-central Ontario, several human activities have resulted in the accumulation of waste on land, water, and the atmosphere. To start with, there are numerous industries in the region, which emit various gaseous pollutants to the atmosphere on a daily basis. These factories also discharge liquid and solid contaminants to the environment. Likewise, the road salt used on transportation channels during winter is a contributor of this ecological problem. Other causes of environmental degradation in this area include chemicals used in the execution of household chores. Since most sources of environmental degradation occur through activities conducted by human beings, Environment Canada has been working closely with commercial institutions, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the general population in an effort to reduce this problem in Ontario and other areas within Canada.
Current Environmental Situation
Currently, the south-central region of Ontario is facing a major challenge in terms of the amount of waste discharged into the ecological system as well as its effects on the health of the inhabitants. This is because of the increased levels of industrialization and urbanization in the area. For instance, a large portion of the general population has been protesting due to the possible increase of nuclear waste and other poisonous chemical substances released into the atmosphere by companies within the region. In September 2013, inhabitants of the eastern shore of Lake Huron campaigned against the proposed project by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) aimed at burying nuclear waste classified in the low and middle levels. The establishment of the Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) would cost $1 billion and would be in close proximity to the residential zones.
The management of this company justifies this plan by terming it as a milestone in solving the long-term effects of nuclear waste from the operations of the firm. This is a permanent solution to the possible effects of radioactive waste, which may have detrimental effects on the community even after the elimination of the reactors. In contrast, the community perceives this plan as an enhancer of nuclear waste in the area. They are afraid of the impact that this strategic plan may have on the environment and their health. Based on this argument, the situation in Ontario is bound to worsen if relevant authorities do not use stringent measures to reduce nuclear pollutant in the area (John, 2000). This is because the augmentation of industrialization and urbanization poses a major threat to all elements of the ecological system. While these facets are an indication of economic growth in the region, its impacts may decrease this development especially through such subsectors as the public health, environment, and agricultural departments. Accordingly, the government and other stakeholders of this region have been actively involved in formulating a plan, which aims at solving this environmental problem efficiently within the next 10 years. A large portion of this comprehensive strategic plan deals with the formulation and implementation of relevant legal stipulations. These provisions and programs cater to individuals and companies.
Most of the activities of Environment Canada involve the management of the existing waste in order to protect the environment from further damage in addition to reducing the impact of these substances on the health of the people dwelling in this region. The use of management approaches as opposed to prevention techniques is because of the complexities of avoiding the release of such products to the environment …
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