According to the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, building and demolition materials make up 38% of items sent to local landfills. Because of Nashville’s recent plan to reduce building waste by 90% over the next 30 years, construction companies must pay more attention to their environmental impacts.
Besides overloading public facilities, there are other ways that construction affects the environment.
Construction activities often generate dust and emissions, affecting the air quality. Dust particles can carry pollutants that pose health risks to workers and nearby residents.
Companies can reduce air emissions through appropriate equipment and site management. For example, performing regular maintenance on gas vehicles is one way to reduce emissions.
Soils from construction sites can erode and enter nearby water bodies. This sediment can make it difficult for fish to breathe. It can also contain harmful substances that, if not managed, can compromise water quality.
To manage soil erosion, companies can use erosion control measures, such as silt fences and sediment ponds. They must also be sure to follow the U.S. Clean Water Act.
Destroying natural habitats has a detrimental impact on native Tennessee wildlife species. Separating intact natural areas with development can fragment an animal’s home range. This fragmentation often leads to negative interactions with humans as the animal tries to access parts of its range by crossing through suburban areas.
A thorough inventory of the local flora and fauna is usually necessary before starting a building project. If endangered species are present, developers must plan for mitigation measures.
Construction companies must follow laws governing environmental impact assessments, erosion control and stormwater management. Non-compliance can lead to legal repercussions and project delays.