AP Environmental Science : Pollution

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Environmental Science

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Example Questions

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Example Question #4 : Economic Impacts

Which of the following is a situation in which  he individual would NOT be held responsible for cost of cleanup under CERCLA?

Possible Answers:

An individual who inherited ownership of industrial property that has been found to be leaking petroleum chemicals due to improper storage practices by the previous owner.

A third-party waste disposal company that has been contracted to dispose of hazardous waste for a polluting electronics company whose improper storage methods have resulted in environmental contamination.

A land developer who purchased property with tailing ponds from a former mining operation that are currently leaking hazardous chemicals into the ground and water table.

A purchasing agent for a waste management company that assesses suitability of land for waste disposal and purchases properties for waste disposal.

An employee at a company that was found to be disposing of hazardous waste products improperly, resulting in environmental contamination.

Correct answer:

An employee at a company that was found to be disposing of hazardous waste products improperly, resulting in environmental contamination.

Explanation:

CERCLA identifies a Potentially Responsible Party as an individual or firm that currently owns the site, owned the site at the time contamination occurred, arranged to have waste stored/disposed at the site, or transported the waste and contributed to arranging disposal at the contaminated site. Individuals who purchase land where pollutants are currently being released can be held accountable, even if they did not contribute to the pollution.

The employee of a polluting firm who did not directly arrange for or assist in the handling and disposal of waste cannot be held financially accountable for the resulting cleanup.

Example Question #51 : Pollution

The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. Because it is shallow, only about 1% of pollutants make it out into the Atlantic.

Air pollutants account for nearly __________ of nitrogen pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay.

Possible Answers:

35%

5%

20%

7%

Correct answer:

35%

Explanation:

35% of nitrogenous pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay comes from air pollutants. That being said, agricultural waste is a serious concern and both federal and state governments have offered subsidies in exchange for farmers leaving crucial lands unplanted.

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