Course taster

Emergency pollution responses

Not all pollution is as a result of ongoing (or 'chronic') sources. Specific incidents or accidents can lead to short-term emergency pollution incidents. We introduced this in the previous unit with consideration of the Wheal Jane incident.

In this section, we consider further reporting and response of pollution incidents.

In England, the Environment Agency has a pollution reporting service.

Pollution response typically involves two stages:

Methods of control include:

Clean-up can involve:

Activity 7.4: Dealing with water pollution

A factory has unexpectedly started discharging a noxious chemical to a watercourse. Reports of fish kills have reached you from members of the public – you are leader of the response for the environmental regulator.

Identify a framework from the literature to guide your response to the incident. Show how you will use the elements of this to take appropriate action to effectively respond to the incident. Provide a full technical analysis of the suspected problem and remedies you would use to resolve the situation.

Sketch out the details in a flow chart.