Toxic runoff

Here’s another “external” cost of motoring “Storm water that drains off highways can be a toxic brew of trash, oil, rubber, brake dust and microscopic bits of metal… In an average year, more than 6 million gallons of oil run into California’s waters from roads and sidewalks, the state Environmental Protection Agency reports… Tests of some Caltrans drains in the Los Angeles area have revealed contamination so foul it qualifies as hazardous waste…Toxic storm water runoff from roads and highways can harm fish, sea urchins, shrimp, birds and microorganisms, research shows.”.

Who pays for the effects of this pollution? The decreased agricultural and fisheries production? The toxic effects on human health? Nobody, of course. Which means everybody pays.

State to curb toxic runoff, Dan Weikel Los Angeles Times January 19, 2008. If this deal comes to fruition, then some tiny percentage of the toxics dumped on the roadways of the United States will ostensibly be properly disposed of.