A site heavily contaminated by toxic chemicals is getting a major cleanup, thanks to a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and efforts by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Not only will an electrical resistance heating system decontaminate the Frontier Fertilizer site in Davis, Calif., but the energy used to power the system will be 100% offset by a solar energy project installed at the site. According to the EPA, these systems will reduce the timeline for cleaning up the site from 150 years to just 30, as well as slash CO2 emissions by more than 54 metric tons a year.
During the 1970s and 1980s, operations at the Frontier Fertilizer included storing, mixing and delivering pesticides and herbicides, and since then, these toxic chemicals have been contaminating soil and groundwater, which is the primary source of drinking water in the area, the EPA explains.
“This is the ‘Recovery’ Act, after all.”
Another solar company is also doing its part to double its green contributions: groSolar is working with Clean Harbors Environmental Services Inc. to power a pump and treat system to decontaminate groundwater in New Jersey. According to the companies, the new solar installation will be located on top of a capped landfill that was closed decades ago, and will also take advantage of tax credits provided by the federal government and the State of New Jersey.
In an era of ultra-partisanship and greedy politicians, most of us have become cynical about the use of our hard-earned tax dollars — and even tree-hugging left-wingers don’t want to see their money swindled or dwindled. But projects like these, amongst the countless others funded by the Recovery Act, are evidence that there are still people who care about this planet — even in the greedy, corporate world we call “business.”
We may not convince everyone of the dangers of climate change, and we certainly won’t get everyone to act on them. But this is the “Recovery” Act, after all — we might as well put it to good use.
(Photo credit: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)