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Dear Sir,

First, I wish to convey a message of good luck for you in your effort to keep Chicago a hospitable city as the mayor. It is true that under your leadership, the authority has done a great work of eliminating hazards to achieve your commitment to matters concerning environmental safety for the residents. However, immediate attention is needed to take care of the area around Celotex Corporation, which is located in Cook County in Chicago.


The problem identified in the area is the widespread contamination that resulted from the disposal of coal tar and asphalt roofing wastes, which the company deposited in that place. Despite the fact that the company covered the wastes with non-contaminated soil to limit the level of exposure, it achieved little in making the place safe for human habitation. In a research that EPA conducted in the area, it was established that the amount of PAH in the soil at that place was much higher than those of the surrounding environment. This is a clear indication that the place still does not suit human survival. Therefore, I would like the place to be cleaned of the critical pollutants namely IJC and other available PAHs, which have been proven to be in the soil in that particular area.   


Pollution is a major environmental issue affecting the soil quality in a particular area. The pollution resulted from dumping coal tar and asphalt roofing wastes, which have adverse effects on the soil structure and safety (ATSDR, 2011). Noting that the environment is susceptible to human and natural activities, dumping of unsafe materials affects the natural ecosystem, making that particular place not suitable for human health and settlement. In addition, it is evident that the coal tar and asphalt roofing wastes can impact the natural attributes of the environment due to the effects of reacting components, thus affecting value of property in future. For instance, housing units that are nearer to the places where coal tar and asphalt roofing wastes are dumped have lower sale values because of the potential customers fear for health consequences. There are considerable environmental effects of complicated coal tar and asphalt roofing wastes deposits, which have led the alteration of ecosystem in the area (Environmental protection Agency, 2012).

Moreover, effects of asphalt that arise from the extreme temperatures could interfere with the safety of the occupants by threatening their lives. Similarly, human activities in the area were also affected by the coal tar and asphalt roofing wastes. This means that the environmental disaster could pose danger to the human life and interfere with the outlook of the ecosystem, a situation that leads to low prices for the property at the proximity or death of the occupants (Public Health Implications of Hazardous Substances, 2004). In addition, the revelation that the excess heat interferes with the behavior of clay soil, especially those found beneath the buried coal tar and asphalt roofing wastes could be dangerous when constructing road and houses in the area since the dumped materials will be exposed.

In addition, this might affect such roads because they crack to adjust to the weather conditions, thus posing several users to health risks. It can as well be argued that the other effect of heat on the environment is that it leads to unprecedented expansion of certain sections of the highway (Environmental protection Agency, 2012). This expansion sometimes goes beyond the planned limits and the force excreted from each end could lead to jarring and other dangerous speed bumps, which alter the traffic flow in the affected areas. As a result, investors often shy away from properties located near such areas.

Three or Four Major Ideas that Make Your Point

The main ideas of this letter is; first, to inform you immediate intervention efforts need to be started to make the place conducive for human habitation. Usually, intense heat affects the grid, a situation that could increase unique changes in the environment in such areas. For instance, the state of a water pond in the area is likely to be horrible due to seepage of liquefied coal tar and asphalt roofing wastes from this area (Public Health Assessment, 2009). For example, unprecedented flooding in the area could bring several damages to the environment and the inhabitants of the area by exposing liquefied coal tar and asphalt roofing wastes, a situation that could lead to death.

The second idea is that coal tar and asphalt roofing wastes, which were dumped in that place created environmental disasters in the areas affected, thus they must be controlled or eliminated, so that the prices of property/housing units could stabilize and human life saved.  In addition, increase of human activity in the area’s environment has continued to increase emission of the coal tar and asphalt roofing wastes in the atmosphere, making it very dangerous. Third, the situation is worrying the whole community around this area and it is perceived as a great challenge to the people and authority. Therefore, protection initiatives are considered important while seeking for lasting solutions, which can help in improving the property values at the contaminated sites and help save lives. Table 1 illustrates the need for immediate intervention.

Table 1: Comparative County Demographic for the Grand Calument AOC

Vulnerable Population

Lake County, IN

Cook County, IL

Total for AOC

Children 6 years and younger

48, 923



Females aged 15-44




Adults 65 years and older




Source: Public Health Implications of Hazardous Substances, 2004.


Considering the table Cook Country has the highest number of people facing the risk of environmental contamination. For example, females aged 15-44 accounted for 1,229,431 people, which represents 92.17 percent of the total. This is a serious issue that calls for urgent solution.

Table 2: Chemicals of Interest in Off-Site Surface Water at Lake Calumet Cluster Site


Comparison Values







Value (ppb)


Value (ppb)








ND – 104






ND – 48.4






ND – 2,190






ND – 49.6






ND – 52.2






ND – 204






ND – 510






ND – 262



Action Level



ND – 22.9






ND – 686






ND – 508






ND – 51.9






ND – 39.1






ND - 507

Source: Public Health Assessment, 2009.


ppb = parts per billion

MCL = maximum contaminant level

CEMEG = chronic environmental media evaluation guide

RMEG = reference dose media evaluation guide

CREG = cancer risk evaluation Int.

EMEG = intermediate environmental evaluation guide

ND = not detected


The amount of Barium was found to be at 2000 ppb, which was the highest in the environment. Since barium is a dangerous chemical, immediate intervention is necessary to eliminate the area of such substances.


In sum, I propose that since the environmental effects of pollution on the around Celotex Corporation, which is located in Cook County in Chicago are caused by the dumped coal tar and asphalt roofing wastes, the construction of highways and housing should be done while considering such extreme underneath environmental damages. For instance housing units for accommodating people at the sites should only be done once the area has been cleared of the remnants of such wastes. Proper cleanliness of the site could also reduce the amount of money wasted on the construction of houses on disaster prone areas, which many people will shy away from staying in such places.

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