Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Don Porcella


One of the purposes of an environmental assessment is to foresee potential problems created by the introduction of contaminants into an ecosystem and to suggest appropriate control devices to mitigate the effects of such inputs. In the case of the oil shale industry, very little is known about the potential hazards, especially those related to the emission of organic compounds with carcinogenic potency. The hazards will probably be due to chronic exposures to the emitted compounds and the effects of such exposures are likely to take years to manifest themselves, as is the case with many carcinogenic substances. A precise evaluation of these hazards awaits commencement of operation of commercial scale oil shale processing facilities. However, it is hoped that this report will stimulate future research into the effects and control of discharges of carcinogenic materials from oil shale development sites and possibly other fossil fuel energy development and result in the anticipation of potential problems.