by team n katelyn b bowen james w ellermeyer lindsay a johnson kaitlin m murphy kimberly a vruwink l.
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By: Team N Katelyn B. Bowen James W. Ellermeyer Lindsay A. Johnson Kaitlin M. Murphy Kimberly A. Vruwink The Negative Externalities of Pollution WE ARE a Fossil Fueled Economy Our cars and other dominant forms of transport run primarily on gasoline derived from oil.

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The Negative Externalities of Pollution

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by team n katelyn b bowen james w ellermeyer lindsay a johnson kaitlin m murphy kimberly a vruwink
By: Team N

Katelyn B. Bowen

James W. Ellermeyer

Lindsay A. Johnson

Kaitlin M. Murphy

Kimberly A. Vruwink

The Negative Externalities of Pollution

we are a fossil fueled economy
WE ARE a Fossil Fueled Economy
  • Our cars and other dominant forms of transport run primarily on gasoline derived from oil.
  • We heat and cool our homes and work places from electric utilities heavily dependent on natural gas, coal and oil.
  • Among the major sources of pollution are power and heat generation, the burning of solid wastes, industrial processes, and, especially, transportation.
  • The six major types of pollutants are carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, particulates, sulfur dioxide, and photochemical oxidants.
  • Toxic Chemicals Released by Factories, Power Plants and Other Industrial Companies In 2002, this county (BLAIR COUNTY) ranked among the dirtiest/worst 10% of all counties in the U.S. in terms of cancer risk score (air and water releases).
  • County: BLAIR

Cleanest/Best Counties in the US


Dirtiest/Worst Counties in the US


0best 100 worst

0-50% Cleanest/Best

50-100% Dirtiest/Worst Chemical Releases or Waste Generation

Total environmental releases: 50-60%

Air releases: 50-60%

Water releases: 40-50%

Total off-site transfers: 90-100%

Total production-related waste:


negative externalies
Negative Externalies
  • An externality occurs when some of the costs or the benefits of a good are passed on to or “spill over to” someone other than the immediate buyer or seller. Such spillovers are called externalities, because they are benefits or costs that accrue to some third party that is external to the market transaction.
  • Production or consumption costs inflicted on a third party without compensation are called negative externalities.
    • Prime Example- Environmental Pollution- Land, Air and Water.
what is pollution
What Is Pollution?
  • Pollution is the action of environmental contamination with man-made waste. (Marriam-Webster)
  • This includes mainly land, water, and air.
  • Of all the First World countries, the United States is the most polluting nation on Earth, according to various statistical indications.
  • The U.S. is ranked seventh on pollution control, by only spending 60% of its Gross National Product to help the environment.
    • We spend over 120 billions dollars a year on pollution control and abatement, regulation and monitoring, and research and development.
correcting for negative externalities
Correcting for Negative Externalities
  • Government can do two things to correct the over allocation of resources. Both solutions are designed to internalize external costs, that is, to make the offending firm pay the costs rather than shift them to others.
    • Legislation
    • Specific taxes
land pollution
Land Pollution

What is land Pollution?

Examples of Land Pollution

Soil Pollution

Soil pollution is mainly due to chemicals in herbicides (weed killers) and pesticides (poisons which kill insects and other invertebrate pests).

Litter is waste material dumped in public places such as streets, parks, picnic areas, at bus stops and near shops.

Waste Disposal

The accumulation of waste threatens the health of people in residential areas. Waste decays, encourages household pests and turns urban areas into unsightly, dirty and unhealthy places to live in.

  • Land pollution is the degradation of the Earth's land surface through misuse of the soil by;
    • poor agricultural practices
    • mineral exploitation
    • industrial waste dumping
    • indiscriminate disposal of urban wastes

*Land pollution


Visible waste

and litter

as well as


of the soil itself.

control measures against land pollution
Control Measures Against Land Pollution

*Punishment of polluters through regulation, taxation, fines, toxic tort suits, and other disincentives; encourage industries, companies and families to use nonpolluting approaches

*education of the public plays a HUGE role towards the betterment of our environment.

  • The following measures can be used to control land pollution:
    • anti-litter campaigns can educate people against littering;
    • organic waste can be dumped in places far from residential areas;
    • inorganic materials such as metals, glass and plastic, but also paper, can be reclaimed and recycled.
water pollution
Water Pollution
  • Water pollution is any chemical, physical or biological change in the quality of water that has a harmful effect on any living thing that drinks or uses or lives (in) it.
  • When humans drink polluted water it often has serious effects on their health. Water pollution can also make water unsuited for the desired use.
  • Three forms of water pollution exist in the forms of petroleum, radioactive substances, and heat. 

Demonstrating Oil Protesters

  • Oil pollution is a growing problem, particularly devastating to coastal wildlife.  Small quantities of oil spread rapidly across long distances to form deadly oil slicks. In this picture, demonstrators with "oil-covered" plastic animals protest a potential drilling project in Key Largo, Florida. Whether or not accidental spills occur during the project, its impact on the delicate marine ecosystem of the coral reefs could be devastating.
forms of water pollution continued
Forms of Water Pollution Continued:
  • Petroleum often pollutes water bodies in the form of oil, resulting from oil spills. 
  • Exxon Valdez is an example of this type of water pollution.  These large-scale accidental discharges of petroleum are an important cause of pollution along shore lines. 
  • Besides the supertankers, off-shore drilling operations contribute a large share of pollution. 
    • One estimate is that one ton of oil is spilled for every million tons of oil transported.  This is equal to about 0.0001 percent.
  • Radioactive substances are produced in the form of waste from nuclear power plants, and from the industrial, medical, and scientific use of radioactive materials.  Specific forms of waste are uranium and thorium mining and refining. 
  • Heat is a pollutant because increased temperatures result in the deaths of many aquatic organisms.  These decreases in temperatures are caused when a discharge of cooling water by factories and power plants occurs.

Oil Spill Clean-up

Workers use special nets to clean up a

California beach after an oil tanker spill.

Tanker spills are an increasing environmental

problem because once oil has spilled, it is

virtually impossible to completely remove or

contain it. Even small amounts spread rapidly

across large areas of water. Because oil and

water do not mix, the oil floats on the water

and then washes up on broad expanses of

shoreline. Attempts to chemically treat or sink

the oil may further disrupt marine and beach


examples of water pollution
Examples of Water Pollution
  • Industrial affluent’sWater is discharged from after having been used in production processes. This waste water may contain acids, alkalis, salts, poisons, oils and in some cases harmful bacteria.
  • Mining and Agricultural WastesMines, especially gold and coal mines, are responsible for large quantities of acid water. Agricultural pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides may wash into rivers and stagnant water bodies. Sewage Disposal and Domestic
  • WastesSewage as well as domestic and farm wastes were often allowed to pollute rivers and dams.
combat water pollution
Combat Water Pollution!
  • In 1970, the United States, Clean Water Act provided 50 billion dollars to cities and states to build wastewater facilities. 

* helped control surface water pollution from industrial and municipal sources throughout the United States.

When congress passed the Clean

Water Act in 1972, states were given

primary authority to set their own

standards for their water.

air pollution
Air Pollution

*Air pollution is caused by any undesirable substance, which enters the atmosphere.

*Air pollution is a major problem in modern society. Air pollution is typically a greater problem in cities, pollutants contaminate air everywhere.

*These substances include various gases and tiny particles, or particulates that can harm human health and damage the environment.

*Air pollution may be gases, liquids, or solids. Many pollutants are given off into the air as a result of human behavior.

*Pollution occurs on different levels: personal, national, and global.

  • Some pollutants come from natural sources such as;
    • *Forest fires emit particulates, gases, and VOCs (substances that vaporize into the atmosphere)
    • *Ultra-fine dust particles created by soil erosion when water and weather loosen layers of soil, increase airborne particulate levels.
    • *Volcanoes spew out sulfur dioxide and large amounts of pulverized lava rock known as volcanic ash.
air pollution14
Air Pollution
  • BUT a major majority of pollutants come from humans.
  • Gaseous pollutants are a different mix of vapors and gaseous air pollutants that are found in outdoor and indoor environments.
  • The most common gaseous pollutants are carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides and ozone.
  • A number of sources produce these chemical compounds but the major man-made source is the burning of fossil fuel.
air pollution acid rain
Air Pollution acid rain->

Examples of Air Pollution


of Air Pollution

The Greenhouse effect prevents the sun's heat from rising out of the atmosphere and flowing back into space. This warms the earth's surface causing the green house effect.

activities such as the burning of fossil fuels are creating a gaseous layer that is too dense to allow the heat to escape. Many scientists believe this is causing global warming.

Acid rain forms when moisture in the air interacts with nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide released by factories, power plants, and motor vehicles that burn coal or oil. This interaction of gases with water vapor forms sulfuric acid and nitric acids.

Damage to the ozone layer is primarily caused by the use of CFCs. CFCs were formerly used widely in industry, for example as refrigerants, propellants, and cleaning solvents

The depletion of ozone is causing higher levels of UV radiation on earth, endangering both plants and animals.

Noise PollutionNoise pollution or unwanted sounds that are carried by the air, have an irritating and detrimental effect on humans and other animals.

-Careful planning of streets and buildings in towns and better control over noisy vehicles may add to the control of noise pollution.

Tobacco SmokeTobacco smoke is one of the major forms of pollution in buildings. It is not only the smoker who is infected, but everyone who inhales the polluted air.

Exhaust Gases of VehiclesPollution from exhaust gases of vehicles is responsible for 60% of all air pollution and in cities up to 80%.

control measures to battle air pollution
Control Measures to Battle Air Pollution

Although individual people can help to combat air pollution in their own immediate environment, efficient control can be best achieved by legislation. Some commonly enforced control measures include;

  • the establishment of smokeless zones;
  • control over the types of fuel used in cars, airplanes, power stations, etc.

*The United States, Clean Air Act

Amendments of 1970.

-gave the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to institute and enforce air pollution values and to set emission standards for new factories and particularly harmful industrial pollutants.

    • imposed more strict pollution standards and elevated penalties for failure to obey air quality standards.
gdp and the environment
GDP and the Environment
  • The growth of GDP (Gross Domestic Product- The total market value of all final goods and services produced annually within the boundaries of the United States, whether by U.S.- or foreign-supplied resources.) is inevitably accompanied by “gross domestic by-products,” including dirty air and polluted water, toxic waste, congestion and noise.
  • The social costs of negative by-products reduce our economic well-being. And since those costs are not deducted from total output, GDP overstates our national well-being.

Global air pollution map produced by Envisat's SCIAMACHY

what relevance does pollution have to our economy
What Relevance Does Pollution have to our Economy?

Current Event/ Case Study #1: Obama will protect public lands, pursue green energy

*Western Democrats and environmentalists will have more influence on federal land decisions in Idaho and the West under President Barack Obama.

*Decision-makers will defer more to scientists on resource issues and spending priorities will shift toward protecting land, fish and wildlife, Democrats said Tuesday night.

*"He’s not going to make some of the mistakes of the past," said Cecil Andrus, former Idaho governor and Jimmy Carter’s interior secretary. "He knows his history."

*Issues like climate change and alternative energy - along with the economy - are going to get more attention in the new administration than public lands grazing, logging and motorized recreation. And the skyrocketing federal deficit could force a reorganization of land, water and wildlife agencies now spread out under three different Cabinet departments.

current event case study 2 continued
Current Event/ Case Study #2Continued
  • US leases more land for energy projects-190 million acres in Western states

*WASHINGTON - The Interior Department plans to make available 190 million acres of federal land in

a dozen Western states for development of geothermal energy projects - a move that could produce

enough electricity for 5 million homes.

*Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said yesterday that under a leasing program, as many as 270

communities could benefit from direct use of geothermal energy, generated from intense heat deep

beneath the Earth.

*"Geothermal energy is replenished, is a renewable resource that generates electricity with

minimalcarbon emissions . . . (and) reduces the need for conventional energy sources," said


*Kempthorne announced completion of an environmental review of the proposed leasing program

which will include both federal forest and rangelands. The national parks such as Yellowstone, which

is renowned for its geothermal geysers, remain off limits to leasing, he said.

The Interior Department said it will issue specific land areas that will be open for leasing. Each project

will still have to undergo site-specific environmental reviews.

*The broader environmental review for the overall leasing program calls for 118 million acres of land

managed by Interior's Bureau of Land Management, and 79 million acres under the US Forest

Service, to be made available for potential geothermal development.