Essay on an environmental issue Read an article from a science or engineering journal, from a popular magazine, or from the Internet on some environmental issue that is of interest to you. Summarize the article in a short memorandum format, addressed to your instructor.

11. Essay on an environmental issue Read an article from a science or engineering journal, from a popular
magazine, or from the Internet on some environmental issue that is of interest to you. Summarize the article in a
short memorandum format, addressed to your instructor. In the body of the memorandum, limit the length to one
page of single-spaced text, including graphics/tables (if needed). Structure the memorandum in this way:
a. Introduction and motivation
b. A description of the issue
c. A description of what engineers are doing, have done, or are going to do to address the challenge
Use of headings is appropriate, and be sure to reference information sources.
Potential topics:
• Stratospheric ozone depletion: the chemical industry connection
• Smog in industrialized urban areas
• Toxic chemicals in commerce and in the environment
• Industrial hazardous waste generation and management
• Environmental challenges for genetically engineered foods
• The cleanup of industrial sites (Superfund program)

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• Pollution prevention issues, technologies, or initiatives
• Endocrine disruptors: What are they, why are they harmful, and what is the chemical industry doing about them?
• Environmental effects (advantages/disadvantages) of biodiesel or corn/cellulosic ethanol for transportation fuels
• Fuel cells and their environmental consequences
• Water resources: quality and quantity
• Petroleum: Are we running out? What are the alternatives?
• Renewable energy: What is it, and can it make a difference?
Potential sources of information:
Scientific and engineering research journals (check the library current journals section):
• Environmental Science & Technology
• Environmental Progress and Sustainable Energy
• Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
• Chemical and Engineering News
• Science
• Scientific American
Internet resources:
• American Chemistry Council (formerly the Chemical Manufacturers Association)
• U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (www.epa.gov)
• Your state’s Department of Environmental Quality

12. Sustainable development An overview of the Report of the World Commission on Environment and
Development is at www.un-documents.net/ocf-ov.htm. A number of global challenges to the environment,
economic development, and living conditions were discussed. Summarize one or two of the key challenges in a
memo format in one or two pages.

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