Environmental cleanup begins with the big picture of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, which takes responsibility for cleanup of hazardous materials at various sites throughout the country. This includes superfund sites, federal facilities, and Brownsfields properties. The EPA Cleanups in My Community program provides maps and specific information about these cleanup projects.
There are many other cleanup projects not attended to by the EPA, including state cleanups, other Superfund sites not on the National Priority List (NPL), renewable energy potential at sites, cleanups of leaking underground storage tanks, and National Response Center spills. The best way to find official cleanup information in your state is to do an internet search for your specific state and follow those links.
If you are looking to do some ‘cleaning’ around your community, to protect the environment and reclaim some beauty, here are some tips to get you thinking:
- Connect with your local Keep America Beautiful chapter, and arrange a speaking event or volunteer at the office.
- Plan ahead for Earth Day (always April 22) and create an event for your community, to raise awareness and participation in Earth care.
- Help plant trees or other greens, or help maintain green spaces in parks and other locations in your community.
- Contact the local parks department about adopting a section of roadway to keep litter-free.
- If there is a vacant lot in the neighborhood, talk to officials about turning it into a community garden.
- Spread awareness of how to properly dispose of motor oil, cell phone, and other items often tossed out improperly.
- Work with your local library to educate children, youth, and adults about environmental concerns.
Posted by Mark Contorno
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