Monday, January 22, 2007

Guess who gets the bill? Again....

I think we're all in favor of cleaning up polluted wastelands. My problem with these cleanups is that they are, usually, taxpayer funded. Hamilton Harbour/Burlington Bay (Wiki, IJC), on Lake Ontario, is an industrial harbor that has serious contamination problems. Now a cleanup of a section known as the Randle Reef is being proposed. This cleanup will be paid for with tax dollars but it will be cleaning up a mess created by decades of industrial pollution. Industry regards environmental degradation as economic externalities and often do not carry the costs of remediation. The problem is that these stories always end up the same and the bill ends up in the same place. Maybe if we just stop dumping everything everywhere the damage and the cleanup won't cost so much.

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