Public Policy

Part I. While many policy topics presented this semester may seem distant and out of the control of local or even individual power, environmental policy is somewhat unique in that it often utilizes local policy. Certainly, there is international, federal, and state policy regarding the environment, but you should also realize that there are several local environmental policies right in their own cities, perhaps right near their homes.Go to the following website via the EPA: https://www3.epa.gov/enviro/myenviro/. Enter your city name or zip code (BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA), and hit enter. This page will provide you with information on environmental quality and policy in your local area.Click on “MyAir” in the bar at the top of the page. What is the air quality like near you? Look at the map on the right and check the box titled “Toxic Releases to Air.” Are there any sources of toxic releases near you?Click on “MyWater.” This will bring you to different resources regarding waterways near you. Click on the box with your local watershed titled “Watersheds.” Then click on the link labeled “Impaired Water for this watershed.” Scroll down and take a look at the list of impaired waterways. What are some of the major causes of impairment?Click on “MyLand.” Note the descriptions of what Superfund and Brownfields are. Now look at the map and check the boxes of both “Superfund Sites” and “Brownfield Properties.” What are the sites near you? If there are Superfund sites near you, what kind of cleanup is going on there?Once you’ve looked at all of the information above, draw some conclusions. How is the quality of the environment near you overall? Are there areas of environmental degradation? What kinds of local efforts are going on to clean up the environment or help maintain a healthy one?Part II. Learn about global climate change at http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/. What is the evidence regarding global climate change? What are the effects? What are the causes? You might also review the Global Warming and Climate Change (https://www.nytimes.com/section/climate?inline=nyt-classifier) chronology at the New York Times website. Discuss your findings and conclude by sharing whether you support governmental policies aimed at curbing climate change.Include in-text citation and have a references list in APA format.

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