Cadmium (Cd): A heavy metal that accumulates in the environment.
Call Back: A provision included in some power sale contracts that lets the supplier stop delivery when the power is needed to meet certain other obligations.
Calorie: One energy calorie is equivalent to 4.2 joules. Thus, it takes 500,000 calories of energy to boil a pot of coffee. One food calorie equals 1,000 energy calories.
Calorie (energy calorie -"c"): Any of several approximately equal values of heat, each measured as the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celsius from a standard initial temperature, esp. from 3.98 degrees Celsius. 14.5 degrees Celsius, or 19.5 degrees Celsius, at 1-atmosphere pressure. A calorie is the unit of heat equal to 4.184 joules.
Calorific Value: Amount of heat generated by a given mass of fuel when it is completely burned. It is measured in joules per kilogram.
Cancellation: Refers to Section 6 (b) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) which authorizes cancellation of a pesticide registration if unreasonable adverse effects to the environment and public health develop when a product is used according to widespread and commonly recognized practice, or if its labelling or other material required to be submitted does not comply with FIFRA provisions.
Cap: A layer of clay, or other impermeable material installed over the top of a closed landfill to prevent entry of rainwater and minimize leachate.
Capacity: The amount of electric power for which a generating unit, generating station, or other electrical apparatus is rated either by the user or manufacturer. The term is also used for the total volume of natural gas that can flow through a pipeline over a given amount of time, considering such factors as compression and pipeline size.
There are various types of electricity capacity:
• Dependable Capacity: The systems' ability to carry the electric power for the time interval and period specific, when related to the characteristics of the load to be supplied. Dependable capacity is determined by such factors as capability, operating power factor, weather, and a portion of the load the station is to supply.
• Installed (or Nameplate) Capacity: The total manufacturer-rated capacities of equipment such as turbines, generators, condensers, transformers, and other system components.
• Peaking Capacity: The capacity of generating equipment intended for operation during the hours of highest daily, weekly or seasonal loads.
• Purchased Capacity: The amount of energy and capacity available for purchase from outside the system.
• Reserve Capacity: Extra generating capacity available to meet peak or abnormally high demands for power and to generate power during scheduled or unscheduled outages. Units available for service, but not maintained at operating temperature, are termed "cold." those units ready and available for service, though not in actual operation, are termed "hot."
Capacity Assurance Plan: A state-wide plan which supports a state's ability to manage the hazardous waste generated within its boundaries over a twenty year period.
Capacity Factor: A percentage that tells how much of a power plant's capacity is used over time. For example, typical plant capacity factors range as high as 80 percent for geothermal and 70 percent for co-generation.
Capacity Release: A secondary market for capacity that is contracted by a customer which is not using all of its capacity.
Capillary Action: Movement of water through very small spaces due to molecular forces called capillary forces.
Capillary Fringe: The porous material just above the water table which may hold water by capillarity (a property of surface tension that draws water upwards) in the smaller void spaces.
Capillary Fringe: The zone above the water table within which the porous medium is saturated by water under less than atmospheric pressure.
Capping: This is the process of placing the final cover material on the landfill.
Captive Customer: A customer who does not have realistic alternatives to buying power from the local utility, even if that customer had the legal right to buy from competitors.
Capture Efficiency: The fraction of organic vapors generated by a process that is directed to an abatement or recovery device.
Carbon Absorber: An add-on control device that uses activated carbon to absorb volatile organic compounds from a gas stream. (The VOCs are later recovered from the carbon.)
Carbon Adsorption: A treatment system that removes contaminants from ground water or surface water by forcing it through tanks containing activated carbon treated to attract the contaminants.
Carbon Credits: Carbon credits are created when a project reduces or avoids the emission of greenhouse gasses, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). The carbon credits are measured against a baseline.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2): A colorless, odorless, non-poisonous gas that is a normal part of the air. Carbon dioxide, also called CO2, is exhaled by humans and animals and is absorbed by green growing things and by the sea.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2): A colorless, odorless gas, formed naturally by decomposition, combustion, breathing, etc. CO2 contributes to global warming.
Carbon Monoxide (CO): A colorless, odorless, highly poisonous gas made up of carbon and oxygen molecules formed by the incomplete combustion of carbon or carbonaceous material, including gasoline. It is a major air pollutant on the basis of weight.
Carbon Tetrachloride (CC14): Compound consisting of one carbon atom ad four chlorine atoms, once widely used as an industrial raw material, as a solvent, and in the production of CFCs. Use as a solvent ended when it was discovered to be carcinogenic.
Carbon Trading: The UK Emissions Trading Scheme, launched in April 2002, is the world's first economy-wide national-level greenhouse gas trading scheme. Emissions trading is designed to allow businesses to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gasses in the most economically efficient way. The EU-wide non-voluntary scheme should start in 2005.
Carboxyhemoglobin: Hemoglobin in which the iron is bound to carbon monoxide (CO) instead of oxygen.
Carcinogens: Potential cancer-causing agents in the environment. They include among others: industrial chemical compounds found in food additives, pesticides, and fertilizers, drugs, toy, household cleaners, toiletries, and paints. Naturally occurring ultraviolet solar radiation is also a carcinogen.
Carrier: 1.The inert liquid or solid material in a pesticide product that serves as a delivery vehicle for the active ingredient. Carriers do not have toxic properties of their own. 2. Any material or system that can facilitate the movement of a pollutant into the body or cells.
Carrying Capacity: 1. In recreation management, the amount of use a recreation area can sustain without loss of quality. 2. In wildlife management, the maximum number of animals an area can support during a given period.
Case Study: A brief fact sheet providing risk, cost, and performance information on alternative methods and other pollution prevention ideas, compliance initiatives, voluntary efforts, etc.
Cask: A thick-walled container (usually lead) used to transport radioactive material. It is also called a coffin.
Catalyst: A substance that changes the speed or yield of a chemical reaction without being consumed or chemically changed by the chemical reaction.
Catalytic Converter: An air pollution abatement device that removes pollutants from motor vehicle exhaust, either by oxidizing them into carbon dioxide and water or reducing them to nitrogen.
Catalytic Incinerator: A control device that oxidizes volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by using a catalyst to promote the combustion process. Catalytic incinerators require lower temperatures than conventional thermal incinerators, thus saving fuel and other costs.
Catalytic Cracking: A refinery process that converts a high-boiling range fraction of petroleum (gas oil) to gasoline, olefin feed for alkylation, distillate, fuel oil and fuel gas by use of a catalyst and heat.
Categorical Pre-treatment Standard: A technology-based effluent limitation for an industrial facility discharging into a municipal sewer system. It is analogous in stringency to Best Availability Technology (BAT) for direct dischargers.
Cathodic Protection: A technique to prevent corrosion of a metal surface by making it the cathode of an electrochemical cell.
Caulking: Material used to make an air-tight seal by filling in cracks, such as those around windows and doors.
Cavitation: The formation and collapse of gas pockets or bubbles on the blade of an impeller or the gate of a valve; the collapse of these pockets or bubbles drives water with such force that it can cause pitting of the gate or valve surface.
Cell: A waterproof pit containing subcells into which waste is deposited in a landfill. A landfill is composed of several cells. Each one is hydraulically independent and designed to facilitate the recovery of landfill gas and the collection of leachate. A geomembrane liner and draining materials ensure the cells are waterproof. The cells are surrounded by waterproof barriers. The whole landfill is also surrounded by a boundary fence. The height and slope of the barriers, the distance from cells to the outer limit of the operation, and inspections are all covered by regulations.
Cells: 1. In solid waste disposal, holes where waste is dumped, compacted and covered with layers of dirt on a daily basis. 2. The smallest structural part of living matter capable of functioning as an independent unit.
Celsius: A temperature scale based on the freezing (0 degrees) and boiling (100 degrees) points of water. Abbreviated as C in second and subsequent references in the text. Formerly known as Centigrade. To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit, multiply the number by 9, divide by 5, and add 32.
For example: 10 degrees Celsius x 9 = 90; 90 / 5 = 18; 18 32 = 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cementitious: Densely packed and non-fibrous friable materials.
Central Collection Point: Location where a generator of regulated medical waste consolidates wastes originally generated at various locations in his facility. The wastes are gathered together for treatment on-site or for transportation elsewhere for treatment and/or disposal. This term could also apply to community hazardous waste collections, industrial and other waste management systems.
Centrifugal Collector: A mechanical system using centrifugal force to remove aerosols from a gas stream or to remove water from sludge.
CERCLIS: The federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Information System is a database that includes all sites which have been nominated for investigation by the Superfund program.
CFC’s (Chlorofluorocarbons or Chlorinated Fluorocarbons): A family of artificially produced chemicals receiving much attention for their role in stratospheric ozone depletion. On a per molecule basis, these chemicals are several thousand times more effective as greenhouse gasses than carbon dioxide. Since they were introduced in the mid-1930s, CFCs have been used as refrigerants, solvents and in the production of foam material. The 1987 Montreal protocol on CFCs seeks to reduce their production by one-half by the year 1998.
Channelization: Straightening and deepening streams so water will move faster, a marsh-drainage tactic that can interfere with waste assimilation capacity, disturb fish and wildlife habitats, and aggravate flooding.
Characteristic: Any one of the four categories used in defining hazardous waste: ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, and toxicity.
Check-Valve Tubing Pump: Water sampling tool also referred to as a water Pump.
Chemical Case: For purposes of review and regulation, the grouping of chemically similar pesticide active ingredients (e.g. salts and esters of the same chemical) into chemical cases.
Chemical Compound: A distinct and pure substance formed by the union or two or more elements in definite proportion by weight.
Chemical Element: A fundamental substance comprising one kind of atom; the simplest form of matter.
Chemical Energy: The energy generated when a chemical compound combusts, decomposes, or transforms to produce new compounds.
Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD): A measure of the oxygen required to oxidize all compounds, both organic and inorganic, in water.
Chemical Stressors: Chemicals released to the environment through industrial waste, auto emissions, pesticides, and other human activity that can cause illnesses and even death in plants and animals.
Chemical Treatment: Any one of a variety of technologies that use chemicals or a variety of chemical processes to treat waste.
Chemical Waste Management (CWM): The operating name of Waste Management's hazardous waste landfills. WM currently owns and operates five hazardous waste landfills in the U.S.
Chemocar: A special vehicle for the collection of toxic and hazardous wastes from residences, shops, and institutions.
Chemosterilant: A chemical that controls pests by preventing reproduction.
Child Resistant Packaging (CRP): Packaging that protects children or adults from injury or illness resulting from accidental contact with or ingestion of residential pesticides that meet or exceed specific toxicity levels.The term is also used for protective packaging of medicines.
Chiller: A device that generates a cold liquid that is circulated through an air-handling unit's cooling coil to cool the air supplied to the building.
Chilling Effect: The lowering of the Earth's temperature because of increased particles in the air blocking the sun's rays.
Chisel Plowing: Preparing croplands by using a special implement that avoids complete inversion of the soil as in conventional plowing. Chisel plowing can leave a protective cover or crops residues on the soil surface to help prevent erosion and improve filtration.
Chlorinated Hydrocarbons: 1. Chemicals containing only chlorine, carbon, and hydrogen. These include a class of persistent, broad-spectrum insecticides that linger in the environment and accumulate in the food chain. Among them are DDT, aldrin, dieldrin, heptachlor, chlordane, lindane, endrin, Mirex, hexachloride, and toxaphene. Other examples include TCE, used as an industrial solvent. 2. Any chlorinated organic compounds including chlorinated solvents such as dichloromethane, trichloromethylene, chloroform.
Chlorinated Solvent: An organic solvent containing chlorine atoms (e.g. methylene chloride and trichloromethane). Uses of chlorinated solvents are including aerosol spray containers, in highway paint, and dry cleaning fluids.
Chlorination: The application of chlorine to drinking water, sewage, or industrial waste to disinfect or to oxidize undesirable compounds.
Chlorinator: A device that adds chlorine, in gas or liquid form, to water or sewage to kill infectious bacteria.
Chlorine-Contact Chamber: That part of a water treatment plant where effluent is disinfected by chlorine.
Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC): A compound of consisting of chlorine, fluorine, and carbon. CFC’s are very stable in the troposphere. Class of volatile, non-reactive, non-corrosive, non-flammable and easily liquefied gasses, typically used in refrigeration and believed to be responsible for the deterioration of the stratospheric ozone.
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs): A family of inert, nontoxic, and easily liquefied chemicals used in refrigeration, air conditioning, packaging, insulation, or as solvents and aerosol propellants. Because CFCs are not destroyed in the lower atmosphere they drift into the upper atmosphere where their chlorine components destroy ozone.
Chlorophenoxy: A class of herbicides that may be found in domestic water supplies and cause adverse health effects.
Chlorosis: Discoloration of normally green plant parts caused by disease, lack of nutrients, or various air pollutants.
Cholinesterase: An enzyme found in animals that regulate nerve impulses by the inhibition of acetylcholine. Cholinesterase inhibition is associated with a variety of acute symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, stomach cramps, and rapid heart rate.
Chronic Effect: An adverse effect on a human or animal in which symptoms recur frequently or develop slowly over a long period of time.
Chronic Exposure: Multiple exposures occurring over an extended period of time or over a significant fraction of an animal's or human's lifetime (Usually seven years to a lifetime.)
Chronic Toxicity: The capacity of a substance to cause long-term poisonous health effects in humans, animals, fish, and other organisms.
Circle of Influence: The circular outer edge of a depression produced in the water table by the pumping of water from a well.
Circuit: One complete run of a set of electric conductors from a power source to various electrical devices (appliances, lights, etc.) and back to the same power source.
Cistern: Small tank or storage facility used to store water for a home or farm; often used to store rain water.
Clarification: Clearing action that occurs during wastewater treatment when solids settle out. This is often aided by centrifugal action and chemically induced coagulation in wastewater.
Clarifier: A tank in which solids settle to the bottom and are subsequently removed as sludge.
Class I Area: Under the Clean Air Act. a Class I area is one in which visibility is protected more stringently than under the national ambient air quality standards; includes national parks, wilderness areas, monuments, and other areas of special national and cultural significance.
Class I Substance: One of the several groups of chemicals with an ozone depletion potential of 0.2 or higher, including CFCS, Halons, Carbon Tetrachloride, and Methyl Chloroform (listed in the Clean Air Act), and HBFCs and Ethyl Bromide (added by EPA regulations).
Class II Substance: A substance with an ozone depletion potential of less than 0.2. All HCFCs are currently included in this classification.
Clay Soil: Soil material containing more than 40 percent clay, less than 45 percent sand, and less than 40 percent silt.
Clean Air Act: The federal statute that regulates air emissions from the area, stationary and mobile resources. This law authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to establish National Ambient Air Standards (NAAQS) to protect public health and the environment.
Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990: A major overhaul of the earlier Clean Air Act of 1970. Changes included requiring a number of industries, including solid waste combustion units, to meet Maximum Achievable Control Technology standards for air emissions.
Clean Coal Technology: Any technology not in widespread use prior to the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. This Act will achieve significant reductions in pollutants associated with the burning of coal.
Clean Development Mechanism (CDM): The Clean Development Mechanism encourages the realization of environmental projects in developing countries. The entity that finances the project earns emission credits.
Clean Fuel Vehicle: Is frequently incorrectly used interchangeably with "alternative fuel vehicle." Generally, refers to vehicles that use low-emission, clean-burning fuels. Public Resources Code Section 25326 defines clean fuels, for purposes of the section only, as fuels designated by ARB for use in LEVs, ULEVs or ZEVs and include, but are not limited to, electricity, ethanol, hydrogen, liquefied petroleum gas, methanol, natural gas, and reformulated gasoline.
Clean Fuels: Blends or substitutes for gasoline fuels, including compressed natural gas, methanol, ethanol, and liquified petroleum gas.
Cleaner production: Processes designed to reduce the wastes generated by production.
Cleaner Technologies Substitutes Assessment: A document that systematically evaluates the relative risk, performance, and cost trade-offs of technological alternatives; serves as a repository for all the technical data (including methodology and results) developed by a DfE or other pollution prevention or education project.
Cleanup: Actions taken to deal with a release or threat of release of a hazardous substance that could affect humans and/or the environment. The term "cleanup" is sometimes used interchangeably with the terms remedial action, removal action, response action, or corrective action.
Clear Cut: Harvesting all the trees in one area at one time, a practice that can encourage fast rainfall or snowmelt runoff, erosion, sedimentation of streams and lakes, and flooding, and destroys vital habitat.
Clear Water Act: The Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, as amended in 1977, became commonly known as the Clean Water Act. The Act established the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States.
Clear Well: A reservoir for storing filtered water of sufficient quantity to prevent the need to vary the filtration rate with variations in demand. Also used to provide chlorine contact time for disinfection.
Climate Change (also referred to as 'global climate change'): The term 'climate change' is sometimes used to refer to all forms of climatic inconsistency, but because the Earth's climate is never static, the term is more properly used to imply a significant change from one climatic condition to another. In some cases, 'climate change' has been used synonymously with the term, 'global warming'; scientists, however, tend to use the term in the wider sense to also include natural changes in climate.
Climate Change Levy: The Climate Change Levy is a tax on energy use in industry, commerce, agriculture and the public sector.
Climate Zone: A geographical area is a state that has particular weather patterns. These zones are used to determine the type of building standards that are required by law.
Cloning: In biotechnology, obtaining a group of genetically identical cells from a single cell; making identical copies of a gene.
Closed-Loop: A type of manufacturing process that utilizes a material flow in order to minimize waste. A manufacture that re-uses the waste/spoilage and reuses own waste.
Closed-Loop Recycling: Reclaiming or reusing wastewater for non-potable purposes in an enclosed process.
Closed Site (Landfill): A landfill that has reached its permitted waste capacity and has been permanently capped and certified as closed by the appropriate state regulatory agency.
Closure: The procedure a landfill operator must follow when a landfill reaches its legal capacity for solid ceasing acceptance of solid waste and placing a cap on the landfill site.
Clunkers: It is also known as gross-polluting or super- emitting vehicles, i.e., vehicles that emit far in excess of the emission standards by which the vehicle was certified when it was new.
Co-fire: Burning of two fuels in the same combustion unit; e.g., coal and natural gas, or oil and coal.
Coagulation: Clumping of particles in wastewater to settle out impurities, often induced by chemicals such as lime, alum, and iron salts.
Coal: Black or brown rock, formed under pressure from organic fossils in prehistoric times that is mined and burned to produce heat energy.
Coal Bed Methane: Methane which is still locked into the vast reserves of coal and coal measures strata that remain unworked. The concept of this is referred to as Coal Bed Methane (CBM) since it involves directly drilling into unworked coal and coal measures strata to release the methane locked within it rather than utilizing methane released as a result of mining activities.
Coal Cleaning Technology: A precombustion process by which coal is physically or chemically treated to remove some of its sulfur so as to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions.
Coal Conversion: Changing coal into synthetic gas or liquid fuels.
Coal Gasification: Conversion of coal to a gaseous product by one of the several available technologies.
Coal Mine Methane: Methane continues to emit from the coal mine after closure, and recently the concept of collecting the gas from abandoned mines to provide an energy source which would otherwise be waste has been developed.
Coal Oil: Oil that can be obtained by distilling bituminous coal.
Coal Seam: A mass of coal, occurring naturally at a particular location that can be commercially mined.
Coal Slurry Pipeline: A pipe system that transports pulverized coal suspended in water.
Coastal Zone: Lands and waters adjacent to the coast that exert an influence on the uses of the sea and its ecology, or whose uses and ecology are affected by the sea.
Co-disposal: The disposal of different types of waste in one area of a landfill or dump. For instance, sewage sludge may be disposed of with regular solid wastes.
Coefficient of Haze (COH): A measurement of visibility interference in the atmosphere.
Cogeneration: The consecutive generation of useful thermal and electric energy from the same fuel source. Co-generators use the waste heat created by one process, for example during manufacturing, to produce steam which is used, in turn, to spin a turbine and generate electricity.
Cogeneration: Cogeneration means the sequential use of energy for the production of electrical and useful thermal energy. The sequence can be thermal use followed by power production or the reverse, subject to the following standards:
a) At least 5 percent of the cogeneration project's total annual energy output shall be in the form of useful thermal energy.
b) Where useful thermal energy follows power production, the useful annual power output plus one-half the useful annual thermal energy output equals not less than 42.5 percent of any natural gas and oil energy input.
Coke: A porous solid left over after the incomplete burning of coal or of crude oil.
Coke Oven: An industrial process which converts coal into coke, one of the basic materials used in blast furnaces for the conversion of iron ore into iron.
Coke Oven Gas: Gas given off by coke ovens. Coke oven gas is interchangeable with goal gas.
Cold Temperature CO: A standard for automobile emissions of carbon monoxide (CO) emissions to be met at a low temperature (i.e. 20 degrees Fahrenheit). Conventional automobile catalytic converters are not efficient in cold weather until they warm up.
Coliform Index: A rating of the purity of water based on a count of fecal bacteria.
Coliform Organism: Microorganisms found in the intestinal tract of humans and animals. Their presence in water indicates fecal pollution and potentially adverse contamination by pathogens.
Collection: The process of picking up wastes from residences, businesses, or a collection point, loading them into a vehicle, and transporting them to a processing, transfer, or disposal site.
Collector: Public or private hauler that collects nonhazardous waste and recyclable materials from residential, commercial, institutional and industrial sources.
Collector Sewers: Pipes used to collect and carry wastewater from individual sources to an interceptor sewer that will carry it to a treatment facility.
Colloids: Very small, finely divided solids (that do not dissolve) that remain dispersed in a liquid for a long time due to their small size and electrical charge.
Combined Cycle Plant: An electric generating station that uses waste heat from its gas turbines to produce steam for conventional steam turbines.
Combined Hydronic Space/Water Heating: A system in which both space heating and domestic water heating are provided by the same water heater(s).
Combined Sewer Overflows: Discharge of a mixture of storm water and domestic waste when the flow capacity of a sewer system is exceeded during rainstorms.
Combined Sewers: A sewer system that carries both sewage and storm-water runoff. Normally, its entire flow goes to a waste treatment plant, but during a heavy storm, the volume of water may be so great as to cause overflows of untreated mixtures of storm water and sewage into receiving waters. Storm-water runoff may also carry toxic chemicals from industrial areas or streets into the sewer system.
Combustibles: Burnable materials in the waste stream, including paper, plastics, wood, and food and garden wastes.
Combustion: 1. Burning, or rapid oxidation, accompanied by the release of energy in the form of heat and light. 2. Refers to controlled burning of waste, in which heat chemically alters organic compounds, converting into stable inorganics such as carbon dioxide and water.
Combustion Chamber: The actual compartment where waste is burned in an incinerator.
Combustion Product: Substance produced during the burning or oxidation of a material.
Command Post: Facility located at a safe distance upwind from an accident site, where the on-scene coordinator, responders, and technical representatives make response decisions, deploy manpower and equipment, maintain liaison with news media, and handle communications.
Command-and-Control Regulations: Specific requirements prescribing how to comply with specific standards defining acceptable levels of pollution.
Commercial Customer: A segment of the business that is made up of the commercial and industrial collection.
Commercial Waste: All solid waste emanating from business establishments such as stores, markets, office buildings, restaurants, shopping centers, and theaters.
Commercial Waste Management Facility: A treatment, storage, disposal, or transfer facility which accepts waste from a variety of sources, as compared to a private facility which normally manages a limited waste stream generated by its own operations.
Commercialization: Programs or activities that increase the value or decrease the cost of integrating new products or services into the electricity sector.
Commingled: Mixed recyclables that are collected together after having been separated from mixed MSW.
Commingled Recyclables: Mixed recyclables that are collected together.
Comminuter: A machine that shreds or pulverizes solids to make waste treatment easier.
Comminution: Mechanical shredding or pulverizing of waste. Used in both solid waste management and wastewater treatment.
Communal Collection: A system of collection in which individuals bring their waste directly to a central point, from which it is collected.
Community: In ecology, an assemblage of populations of different species within a specified location in space and time. Sometimes, a particular sub grouping may be specified, such as the fish community in a lake or the soil arthropod community in a forest.
Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL): Small fluorescent lamps used as more efficient alternatives to incandescent lighting. It is also called PL, CFL, Twin-Tube, or BIAX lamps.
Compaction: Reduction of the bulk of solid waste by rolling and tamping.
Compactor vehicle: A collection vehicle using high-power mechanical or hydraulic equipment to reduce the volume of solid waste.
Comparative Risk Assessment: Process that generally uses the judgment of experts to predict effects and set priorities among a wide range of environmental problems.
Competitive Bidding (Electricity): A procedure that utilities in many states use to select suppliers of new electric capacity and energy. Under competitive bidding, an electric utility solicits bids from prospective power generators to meet current or future power demands. When offers from independent power producers began exceeding utility needs in the mid-1980s, utilities and state regulators began using competitive bidding systems to select among numerous supply alternatives.
Competitive Bidding (Municipal Solid Waste): A procedure that municipalities use to select vendors to collect and/or dispose of the solid waste within the municipality.
Complete Treatment: A method of treating water that consists of the addition of coagulant chemicals, flash mixing, coagulation-flocculation, sedimentation, and filtration. Also called conventional filtration.
Compliance Coal: Any coal that emits less than 1.2 pounds of sulfur dioxide per million Btu when burned. Also known as low sulfur coal.
Compliance Coating: A coating whose volatile organic compound content does not exceed that allowed by regulation.
Compliance Cycle: The 9-year calendar year cycle, beginning January 1, 1993, during which public water systems must monitor. Each cycle consists of three 3-year compliance periods.
Compliance Monitoring: Collection and evaluation of data, including self-monitoring reports, and verification to show whether pollutant concentrations and loads contained in permitted discharges are in compliance with the limits and conditions specified in the permit.
Compliance Schedule: A negotiated agreement between a pollution source and a government agency that specifies dates and procedures by which a source will reduce emissions and, thereby, comply with a regulation.
Composite Liner: A liner system for a land-fill consisting of an engineered soil layer and a synthetic sheet of material.
Composite Sample: A series of water samples taken over a given period of time and weighted by flow rate.
Compost: A humus or soil-like material created from aerobic, microbial decomposition of organic materials such as food scraps, yard trimmings, and manure.
Compostable: Processing the ability to breakdown into or otherwise become part of, usable compost in a safe and timely manner.
Composting: The controlled biological decomposition of organic material in the presence of air to form a humus-like material. Controlled methods of composting include mechanical mixing and aerating, ventilating the materials by dropping them through a vertical series of aerated chambers, or placing the compost in piles out in the open air and mixing it or turning it periodically.
Composting: A biological process that accelerates the breakdown of organic waste by introducing air, producing compost. The chemical reactions involved in composting release heat, which sanitizes the compost, i.e., eliminates the pathogenic agents in the incoming waste. Compost can be used as an organic amendment, to improve soil structure, or as a fertilizer to nourish plants (Biological decomposition of solid organic materials by bacteria, fungi, and other organisms into a soil-like product).
Composting Facilities: 1. An offsite facility where the organic component of municipal solid waste is decomposed under controlled conditions; 2.an aerobic process in which organic materials are ground or shredded and then decomposed to humus in windrow piles or in mechanical digesters, drums, or similar enclosures.
Composting Rejects: Waste exiting a composting facility as not suitable for organic recycling.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG): An alternative fuel for motor vehicles; considered one of the cleanest because of low hydrocarbon emissions and its vapors are relatively non-ozone producing. However, vehicles fueled with CNG do emit a significant quantity of nitrogen oxides. Natural gas that has been compressed under high pressure, typically between 2,000 and 3,600 pounds per square inch, held in a container. The gas expands when released for use as a fuel.
Concentration: The relative amount of a substance mixed with another substance. An example is five ppm of carbon monoxide in air or 1 mg/l of iron in the water.
Condensate: 1.Liquid formed when warm landfill gas cools as it travels through a collection system. 2. Water created by cooling steam or water vapor.
Condensate Return System: System that returns the heated water condensing within steam piping to the boiler and thus saves energy.
Condenser: A heat exchanger in which the refrigerant, compressed to a hot gas, is condensed to liquid by rejecting heat.
Conditional Registration: Under special circumstances, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) permit registration of pesticide products that is "conditional" upon the submission of additional data. These special circumstances include a finding by the EPA Administrator that a new product or use of an existing pesticide will not significantly increase the risk of unreasonable adverse effects. A product containing a new (previously unregistered) active ingredient may be conditionally registered only if the Administrator finds that such conditional registration is in the public interest, that a reasonable time for conducting the additional studies has not elapsed, and the use of the pesticide for the period of conditional registration will not present an unreasonable risk.
Conductance: A rapid method of estimating the dissolved solids content of water supply by determining the capacity of a water sample to carry an electrical current. Conductivity is a measure of the ability of a solution to carry and electrical current.
Conduction: The transfer of heat energy through a material (solid, liquid or gas) by the motion of adjacent atoms and molecules without gross displacement of the particles.
Conductivity: A measure of the ability of a solution to carry an electrical current.
Cone of Depression: A depression in the water table that develops around a pumped well.
Cone of Influence: The depression, roughly conical in shape, produced in a water table by the pumping of water from a well.
Cone Penterometer Testing (CPT): A direct push system used to measure lithology based on soil penetration resistance. Sensors in the tip of the cone of the DP rod measure tip resistance and side-wall friction, transmitting electrical signals to digital processing equipment on the ground surface.
Confined Aquifer: An aquifer in which ground water is confined under pressure which is significantly greater than atmospheric pressure.
Confluent Growth: A continuous bacterial growth covering all or part of the filtration area of a membrane filter in which the bacteria colonies are not discrete.
Congestion: A condition that occurs when insufficient transfer capacity is available to implement all of the preferred schedules simultaneously.
Conservation: Preserving and renewing, when possible, human and natural resources. The use, protection, and improvement of natural resources according to principles that will ensure their highest economic or social benefits.
Conservation Easement: Easement restricting a landowner to land uses that that are compatible with long-term conservation and environmental values.
Constituent(s) of Concern: Specific chemicals that are identified for evaluation in the site assessment process.
Construction and Demolition Debris: Waste generated by construction and demolition of buildings, such as bricks, concrete, drywall, lumber, miscellaneous metal parts and sheets, packaging materials, etc.
Construction and Demolition (C&D): A waste stream that is primarily received from construction sites. Some examples of C&D waste include, but are not limited to, concrete, rebar, wood, paneling, linoleum, and carpet.
Construction and Demolition Waste: Waste building materials, dredging materials, tree stumps, and rubble resulting from construction, remodeling, repair, and demolition of homes, commercial buildings and other structures and pavements. It may contain lead, asbestos, or other hazardous substances.
Consumptive Water Use: Water removed from available supplies without return to a water resources system, e.g. water used in manufacturing, agriculture, and food preparation.
Contact Pesticide: A chemical that kills pests when it touches them, instead of by ingestion. Also, soil that contains the minute skeletons of certain algae that scratch and dehydrate waxy-coated insects.
Container: Any receptacle used to accumulate waste from residential, commercial and industrial sites. Containers vary in size and type according to the needs of the customer or restrictions of the community. Containers are also referred to as dumpsters.
Contaminant: Any physical, chemical, biological, or radiological substance or matter that has an adverse effect on air, water, or soil.
Contamination: Introduction into water, air, and soil of microorganisms, chemicals, toxic substances, wastes, or wastewater in a concentration that makes the medium unfit for its next intended use. Also applies to surfaces of objects, buildings, and various household and agricultural use products.
Contamination Source Inventory: An inventory of contaminant sources within delineated State Water-Protection Areas.
Contingency Planning: The Energy Commission's strategy to respond to impending energy emergencies such as curtailment or shortage of fuel or power because of natural disasters or the result of human or political causes, or a clear threat to public health, safety or welfare. The contingency plan specifies state actions to alleviate the impacts of a possible shortage or disruption of petroleum, natural gas or electricity. The plan is reviewed and updated at least every five years, with the last plan being adopted in 1993.
Continuous Sample: A flow of water, waste or other material from a particular place in a plant to the location where samples are collected for testing. May be used to obtaining grab or composite samples.
Contour Plowing: Soil tilling method that follows the shape of the land to discourage erosion.
Contour Strip Farming: A kind of contour farming in which row crops are planted in strips, between alternating strips of close-growing, erosion-resistant forage crops.
Contracts For Differences (CFD): A type of bilateral contract where the electric generation seller is paid a fixed amount over time which is a combination of the short-term market price and an adjustment with the purchaser for the difference. For example, a generator may sell a distribution company power for ten years at 6-cents/kilowatt-hour (kWh). That power is bid into Poolco at some low /kWh value (to ensure it is always taken). The seller then gets the market clearing price from the pool and the purchaser pays the producer the difference between the Poolco selling price and 6-cents/kWh (or vice versa if the pool price should go above the contract price).
Contract Labs: Laboratories under contract to EPA, which analyze samples taken from waste, soil, air, and water or carry out research projects.
Control Area: An electric power system, or a combination of electric power systems, to which a common automatic generation control (AGC) is applied to match the power output of generating units within the area to demand.
Controlled Dump: A planned landfill that incorporates to some extent some of the features of a sanitary landfill: siting with respect to hydro geological suitability, grading, compaction in some cases, leachate control, partial gas management, regular (not usually daily) cover, access control, basic record-keeping, and controlled waste picking.
Controlled Reaction: A chemical reaction under temperature and pressure conditions maintained within safe limits to produce a desired product or process.
Convection: Heat transfer by the movement of fluid.
Conventional Gas: Natural gas occurring in nature, as opposed to synthetic gas.
Conventional Pollutants: Statutorily listed pollutants understood well by scientists. These may be in the form of organic waste, sediment, acid, bacteria, viruses, nutrients, oil, and grease, or heat.
Conventional Site Assessment: Assessment in which most of the sample analysis and interpretation of data is completed off-site; process usually requires repeated mobilization of equipment and staff in order to fully determine the extent of contamination.
Conventional Systems: Systems that have been traditionally used to collect municipal wastewater in gravity sewers and convey it to a central primary or secondary treatment plant prior to discharge to surface waters.
Conventional Tilling: Tillage operations considered standard for a specific location and crop and that tend to bury the crop residues; usually considered as a base for determining the cost effectiveness of control practices.
Conversion: Device or kit by which a conventional fuel vehicle is changed to an alternative fuel vehicle.
Converted Vehicle: A vehicle originally designed to operate on gasoline that has been modified or altered to run on an alternative fuel.
Conversion Fuel Factor: A number stating units of one system in corresponding values of another system.
Converter: Any technology that changes the potential energy in a fuel into a different from of energy such as heat or motion. The term also is used to mean an apparatus that changes the quantity or quality of electrical energy.
Conveyance Loss: Water loss in pipes, channels, conduits, ditches by leakage or evaporation.
Cooling Capacity, Latent: An available refrigerating capacity of an air conditioning unit for removing latent heat from the space to be conditioned.
Cooling Capacity, Sensible: An available refrigerating capacity of an air conditioning unit for removing sensible heat from the space to be conditioned.
Cooling Capacity, Total: An available refrigerating capacity of an air conditioner for removing sensible heat and latent heat from the space to be conditioned.
Cooling Degree Day: A unit of measure that indicates how heavy the air conditioning needs are under certain weather conditions.
Cooling Load: The rate at which heat must be extracted from a space in order to maintain the desired temperature within the space.
Cooling Load Temperature Difference (CLTD): A value used in cooling load calculations for the effective temperature difference (delta T) across a wall or ceiling, which accounts for the effect of radiant heat as well as the temperature difference.
Cooling Tower: A structure that helps remove heat from water used as a coolant; e.g., in electric power generating plants.
Cooling Tower: Device which dissipates the heat from water-cooled systems by spraying the water through streams of rapidly moving air.
CO-OP: This is the commonly used term for a rural electric cooperative. Rural electric cooperatives generate and purchase wholesale power, arrange for the transmission of that power, and then distribute the power to serve the demand of rural customers. Co-ops typically become involved in ancillary services such as energy conservation, load management, and other demand-side management programs in order to serve their customers at least cost.
Cooperative (Electric Utility): A joint venture organized by consumers to make electric utility service available in their area.
Cop (Coefficient Of Performance): Used to rate the performance of a heat pump, the COP is the ratio of the rate of useful heat output delivered by the complete heat pump unit (exclusive of supplementary heating) to the corresponding rate of energy input, in consistent units and under specific conditions.
Cord: A measure of volume, 4 by 4 by 8 feet, used to define amounts of stacked wood available for use as fuel. Burned, a cord of wood produces about 5 million calories of energy.
Core: The uranium-containing heart of a nuclear reactor, where energy is released.
Corrosion: The dissolution and wearing away of metal caused by a chemical reaction such as between water and the pipes, chemicals touching a metal surface, or contact between two metals.
Corrosive: A chemical agent that reacts with the surface of a material causing it to deteriorate or wear away.
Cost/Benefit Analysis: A quantitative evaluation of the costs which would have incurred by implementing an environmental regulation versus the overall benefits to society of the proposed action.
Cost Recovery: A legal process by which potentially responsible parties who contributed to contamination at a Superfund site can be required to reimburse the Trust Fund for money spent during any cleanup actions by the federal government.
Cost Sharing: A publicly financed program through which society, as a beneficiary of environmental protection, shares part of the cost of pollution control with those who must actually install the controls. In Superfund, for example, the government may pay part of the cost of a cleanup action with those responsible for the pollution paying the major share.
Cost-Effective Alternative: An alternative control or corrective method identified after analysis as being the best available in terms of reliability, performance, and cost. Although costs are one important consideration, regulatory and compliance analysis does not require EPA to choose the least expensive alternative. For example, when selecting or approving a method for cleaning up a Superfund site, the Agency balances costs with the long-term effectiveness of the methods proposed and the potential danger posed by the site.
Cover Crop: A crop that provides temporary protection for delicate seedlings and/or provides a cover canopy for seasonal soil protection and improvement between normal crop production periods.
Cover Material: Soil used to cover compacted solid waste in a sanitary landfill.
Cradle-to-Cradle: A term used to describe a material or product that is recycled into a new or similar product at the end of its intended life.
Cradle-to-Grave: A term used to describe a material or product that is disposed (landfill, incineration, etc) of at the end of its intended life.
Cradle-to-Grave or Manifest System: A procedure in which hazardous materials are identified and followed as they are produced, treated, transported, and disposed of by a series of permanent, linkable, descriptive documents (e.g. manifests). Commonly referred to as the cradle-to-grave system.
Criteria: Descriptive factors taken into account by EPA in setting standards for various pollutants. These factors are used to determine limits on allowable concentration levels, and to limit the number of violations per year. When issued by EPA, the criteria provide guidance to the states on how to establish their standards.
Crop Consumptive Use: The amount of water transpired during plant growth plus what evaporated from the soil surface and foliage in the crop area.
Crop Rotation: Planting a succession of different crops on the same land area as opposed to planting the same crop time after time.
Cross Contamination: The movement of underground contaminants from one level or area to another due to invasive subsurface activities.
Cross-Connection: Any actual or potential connection between a drinking water system and an unapproved water supply or another source of contamination.
Crude Oil: Petroleum as found in the earth, before it is refined into oil products. It is also called CRUDE.
Crude Oil Stocks: Stocks held at refineries and at pipeline terminals. Does not include stocks held on leases (storage facilities adjacent to the wells).
Crumb Rubber: Ground rubber fragments the size of sand or silt used in rubber or plastic products, or processed further into reclaimed rubber or asphalt products.
Cryptosporidium: A protozoan microbe associated with the disease cryptosporidiosis in man. The disease can be transmitted through ingestion of drinking water, person-to-person contact, or other pathways, and can cause acute diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, fever, and can be fatal as it was in the Milwaukee episode.
Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM): A measure of the volume of a substance flowing through the air within a fixed period of time. With regard to indoor air, refers to the amount of air, in cubic feet, that is exchanged with outdoor air in a minute's time; i.e. the air exchange rate. A measure of flow rate.
Cubic Foot: The most common unit of measurement of natural gas volume. It equals the amount of gas required to fill a volume of one cubic foot under stated conditions of temperature, pressure and water vapor. One cubic foot of natural gas has an energy content of approximately 1,000 Btus. One hundred (100) cubic feet equals one therm (100 ft3 = 1 therm).
Cullet: Crushed glass.
Cultural Eutrophication: Increasing rate at which water bodies "die" by pollution from human activities.
Cultures and Stocks: Infectious agents and associated biologicals including cultures from medical and pathological laboratories; cultures and stocks of infectious agents from research and industrial laboratories; waste from the production of biologicals; discarded live and attenuated vaccines; and culture dishes and devices used to transfer, inoculate, and mix cultures.
Curbside Collection: Collection of compostables, recyclables, or trash at the edge of a sidewalk in front of a residence or shop.
Curb Stop: A water service shutoff valve located in a water service pipe near the curb and between the water main and the building.
Curbside Collection: Method of collecting recyclable materials at homes, community districts or businesses.
Curie: A measure of radioactivity.
Curing: Allowing partially composted materials to sit in a pile for a specified period of time as part of the maturing process in composting.
Cutie-Pie: An instrument used to measure radiation levels.
Cuttings: Spoils left by conventional drilling with hollow stem auger or rotary drilling equipment.
Cyclone Collector: A device that uses centrifugal force to remove large particles from the polluted air.