The Three Largest HAZWOPER Cleanups In American History And What They Can Teach Everyone

HAZWOPER, or Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Repsonse teams, are responsible for implementing, facilitating and coordinating the cleanup efforts of dozens of hazardous disasters in the U.S. Some of those incidents are the biggest in the history of the country, with walloping facts that boggle the mind. Yet, the three biggest HAZWOPER cleanups the U.S. has ever faced have taught everyone some very valuable lessons about these disasters. Here are those three hazardous disasters and what most people learned from the events.

The Hanford Site Nuclear Disaster

Post-WWII, a nuclear waste dump in Hanford, Washington created millions of gallons of toxic waste that was then improperly disposed of by releasing it into the surrounding soil, air and river.

Due to improper disposal methods, like dumping 440 billion gallons of radioactive liquid directly onto the ground, Hanford's 650 square miles is still considered one of the most toxic places on earth

Many people can become violently ill as the result of this problem. It was the one event that created HAZWOPER--

Its relevance dates to World War II, when waste accumulated during construction of the atomic bomb at the Hanford Site

which in turn cleaned up the spill and continued to take countermeasures against the environmental and social effects and fallout. Unlike an oil spill, this nuclear spill will take many generations to clean up. The cleanup of the Hanford Site is still under the administration of Hazwoper, teaching the public that willful negligence of toxic substances has a long-term effect and that hypervigilance in monitoring the nuclear waste containment tanks is an absolute necessity to protect all life.

Three-Mile Island Meltdown

Moving forward through history, HAZWOPER was called into action again to assist with the crisis that occurred twenty years after HAZWOPER's inception and the Hanford Site. This time, it was not the improper disposal of nuclear waste that was the problem, but the nuclear melt-down at Three-Mile Island was. The toxic gases released into the air and the nuclear explosion that released thousands of pounds of nuclear fallout had to be cleaned up, and obviously, your average volunteers were not allowed to assist in the cleanup. The melt-down and cleanup process showed that a much more careful approach to the use of nuclear power was necessary going forward and into the future, if nuclear power was still a viable source for energy.

The Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico

This time, well-trained volunteers with HAZWOPER certification and training were able to assist the organization's cleanup efforts for the massive oil spill in the Gulf. Donning protective suits, the volunteers scooped sea birds and animals up out of the black, sticky mess and scrubbed them clean before allowing them to be shipped far away from the disaster. This mess proved that more people with the correct HAZWOPER training were needed to help clean everything up. The oil company who was responsible was forced to claim responsibility and help in the massive efforts to restore the unique habitats and human living conditions that are part of the Gulf's coastline.

To learn more, contact a company like National Environmental Trainers