Land Pollution is the deterioration of the Earth’s land surface. Human activities and the misuse of land whether directly or indirectly, polluting the land due to the improper use of the following five materials: chemicals, petroleum products, heavy metals, trash and litter, and wastewater.
Chemicals in Industrial and household waste includes many chemicals such as surfactants, lubricants, solvents, glues and acids and bases. These chemicals can be used in many households, including cleaning solutions and are often disposed of improperly. Petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel fuels, oil and lubricants can leak or spill in the environment due to accidents, mishandling or from our vehicles. Heavy metals, like lining on our car brakes, can tear down road surface and be transported through our waterways via stormwater runoff which can pollute our land. Trash and litter from businesses and households can litter our land, highways, cities, and country. The improper use and disposal of fertilizers and pesticides on agricultural land and failing septic tanks can result in the pollution of wastewater systems, soils, streams, lakes, and groundwater. The improper use or disposal of any of the five land pollution sources can pollute our land.
Historically, a variety of materials were used in manufacturing and products that later were found to be hazardous to human health and the environment. Asbestos-containing materials (fireproofing, insulation, roof and siding tiles, soundproofing) and lead based paint are two of the most common. Old dump sites were often selected based on topography in low areas or at old mining sites. These disposal sites were used before state and local regulations were in place, often resulting in leaching of chemicals and land contamination.
In Lee’s Summit, industrial and household waste was disposed of in the same landfill. During this time, the City’s landfill accepted domestic and industrial wastes from the region, and mixing wastes was standard practice. Currently, there are two active hazardous waste sites in Lee’s Summit. One is an Underground Storage Tank (UST) removal and cleanup at Blue Parkway Used Car Dealership, 1029 S.W. Blue Parkway.
The second area of concern is the former Rock Island rail corridor, south parcel, where historically chemicals were used to keep vegetation out of the rail corridor. It is currently listed as a Brownfield site. A hike-bike trail is proposed in the abandoned corridor to connect the Katy Trail with the Kansas City region.
The former ATT facility in the industrial park, northeast corner of Highway 50 and Chipman Road, is a federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA superfund) site. It was remediated with the property’s use limited to industrial purposes. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources keeps a database of historic and active hazardous material sites. The Environmental Remediation Program at MDNR regulates hazardous material sites and oversees their cleanup.