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timer Asked: May 6th, 2013

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Read the following scenario: You are an associate level environmental scientist in Phoenix, AZ. Growing human population within the city increases pressure on the infrastructure and on natural resources, and this affects the environment. As cities expand, they cut deeper into surrounding rural areas, causing environmental problems, such as the loss of wetlands, loss of biological habitat, and air and water pollution. The high density of automobiles, factories, and commercial enterprises in urban areas adds to airborne emissions, including particulate matter, various types of oxides, and hazardous volatile compounds.

Phoenix, AZ has experienced rapid growth in population over the past decade. The Phoenix City Council is worried that this pattern of population growth is beginning to create a number of negative environmental, economic, and social consequences. These include deteriorating infrastructure, increasing traffic congestion, declining air and water quality, and the loss of open space. The City Council has charged you with writing a report with recommended measures to fix the pollution issue. The City Council provides a budget of $18 million for tackling the environmental issues. 

Make decisions on the optimal measure for addressing the pollution management issue.

Choose 4 of the 7 measures given below based on popular acceptance, budget use, and pollution reduction:

  1. Pollution control legislation for point sources: $4.3M
  2. Random emission testing: $3.6M
  3. Encourage alternative transportation, walking, and bicycle use: $4.4M
  4. Promote fuel-efficient cars: $3.3M
  5. Establish green spaces or urban forestry: $4.2M
  6. Improve roads: $4.7M
  7. Encourage carpooling: $2.8M

Write a 750- to 1,050-word summary briefly describing the background information and details. Include information on your selections:

  • Your selection criteria and total cost
  • The rationale for the pollution reduction measures chosen from an environmental science perspective
  • Information on reduction of pollution
  • Trade-offs for the various pollution reduction measures

For example, bringing in legislation to install pollution control devices in factories may sound like a good choice, but installation of such devices is a huge expense, and there is likelihood of strong opposition by business groups.

  • Explain the statement “decision-making about environmental issues necessitates the maintenance of a fine balance between the effectiveness of measures and the public reaction towards them.”

Include two outside references.

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