Table 2 - Growth-Related Environmental Issues and Impacts

Table 2 - Growth-Related Environmental Issues and Impacts

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Growth issue Environmental issue Potential impacts
Haphazard expansion of suburban communities Water runoff Increased pollution of streams, rivers, and marine environments
Increased flooding
Loss of biodiversity in streams
Soil erosion
Decreased recharge of aquifers
Lower drinking water quality
Poor land-use planning Consumption of open spaces Loss of contiguous green spacesLoss of natural habitats for native species
Loss of wetlands
Fragmentation and loss of forestland
Increased flooding
Increased mountain mudslides and slope collapses
Increased prevalence of non-native, invasive species
Health impacts from proximity to wild animals and confined-animal feeding operations
Loss of green infrastructure for metropolitan areas
Less access to recreation areas
Higher temperatures or heat islands in metropolitan areas
Reduced plant photosynthesis
Traffic congestion Air pollution Increased smog and other pollutants
Increased health impacts, such as asthma
Noncompliance with federal standards and limits on new road construction
Public safety Increased response times for fires and medical emergencies
Road rage
Energy use Wasted petroleum
Urban depopulation and decay Contaminated land and buildings Increased human exposure to toxic substances
Public infrastructure Decreased maintenance and greater service interruptions for water, sewer, road repair, and waste disposal

SOURCE: Adapted from National Governors Association, Growing Pains: Quality of Life in the New Economy, 2000, available at http://www.nga.org/center/divisions/1,1188,C_ISSUE_BRIEF^D_609,00.html, as of May 2001.