Exploring the potential impacts of waste disposal sites on ocean ecosystem contamination in Newfoundland: a geospatial analysis and public perception study

Hazarika, Rashmi (2023) Exploring the potential impacts of waste disposal sites on ocean ecosystem contamination in Newfoundland: a geospatial analysis and public perception study. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This study endeavors to identify historical (closed) and currently operational landfill/waste disposal sites in Newfoundland that might be environmentally sensitive. The primary focus is to understand the potential impacts of these sites on neighboring water bodies and ocean ecosystems. Through the utilization of geospatial analysis, this study examines how waste disposal sites in Newfoundland could possibly contaminate water bodies and ocean ecosystems. Additionally, the study assesses public perceptions concerning the ecological and human health implications of waste disposal sites on the surrounding environment. Employing a geographic information system and the multiple criteria decision-making model, this study assesses the influence of waste disposal sites on nearby water bodies and the ocean. By implementing an analytical hierarchical process, a variety of environmental factors such as soil composition, topography, groundwater vulnerability index, hydrogeology, land use, and land cover are systematically ranked to determine the environmental vulnerability of each waste disposal site. The outcome is presented through a vulnerability assessment map, which categorizes dumpsites based on their level of vulnerability—high, moderate, or low. Recognizing the potential of public engagement to bolster social justice and draw attention to pertinent issues, this study integrates a diverse group of stakeholders such as community members, town councilors, mayors, landfill managers, public health experts, environmental scientists and engineers, provincial government officials, recyclers, and waste disposal service providers. Interviews were conducted with these stakeholders to gain their perspectives on the potential impacts of waste disposal sites on ocean contamination in Newfoundland. From the transcribed interview data, multiple thematic areas pertaining to present waste management practices and the environmental and health ramifications of waste disposal sites were comprehensively identified.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/16145
Item ID: 16145
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 81-86)
Keywords: GIS, remote sensing, environmental health, community health, ocean ecosystems
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of > Community Health
Date: October 2023
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.48336/7GH8-2E16
Medical Subject Heading: Waste Disposal Facilities--Newfoundland and Labrador; Water Pollutants--Newfoundland and Labrador; Waste Disposal, Fluid--Newfoundland and Labrador; Environmental Health--Newfoundland and Labrador; Newfoundland and Labrador; Groundwater--analysis--Newfoundland and Labrador; Ecosystem--Newfoundland and Labrador; Health Impact Assessment--Newfoundland and Labrador; Stakeholder Participation--psychology--Newfoundland and Labrador

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