Glossary of Environmental Terms

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lakes - substantial inland bodies of standing water.

landfill - disposal area where garbage is piled up and eventually covered with dirt and topsoil.

landings - the amount of fish brought back to the docks and marketed. Landings can describe the kept catch of one vessel, of an entire fishery, or of several fisheries combined.

land use - the way in which land is used, especially in farming and city planning.

law - an act or bill which has become part of the legal code through passage by Congress and approval by the President (or via Congressional override).

lead - a naturally-occurring heavy, soft metallic element; human exposure can cause brain and nervous system damage, especially in children.

lead poisoning - damaging the body (specifically the brain) by absorbing lead through the skin or by swallowing.

least-cost planning - a process for satisfying consumers' demands for energy services at the lowest societal cost.

leukemia - a form of bone marrow cancer marked by an increase in white blood cells.

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life cycle assessment - methodology developed to assess a product's full environmental costs, from raw material to final disposal.

light pollution - environmental pollution consisting of harmful or annoying light.

litter - waste material which is discarded on the ground or otherwise disposed of improperly or thoughtlessly.

logging - cutting down trees for commodity use.

longlines - fishing lines stretching for dozens of miles and baited with hundreds of hooks. Longlines are indiscriminate and unintentionally catch and kill immature fish along with a wide variety of other animals in the Atlantic including tunas, sharks, marlins, sailfish, sea turtles and occasionally pilot whales and dolphins.

low-emission vehicles - vehicles which emit little air pollution compared to conventional internal combustion engines.

low-impact camping - camping that does not damage or change the land, where campers leave no sign that they were on the land.

lumber - wood or wood products used for construction.

lung diseases - any disease or damaging conditions in the lung or bronchia such as cancer or emphysema.

lymphoma - a tumor marked by swelling in the lymph nodes.

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