Economic Analysis of Environmental Issue

ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUE 5

EconomicAnalysis of Environmental Issue

Waterpollution is a major problem because it affects the water quality andmay sometimes become an impediment for survival of aquatic life. Oflate, a research that has been conducted by a group of researchersfrom the McGill University together in collaboration with the Quebecgovernment have established that micro-plastics have settled at thebase of the St. Lawrence River. From the research, it was estimatedthat over 1000 micro-beads could be measured per liter of sediment(Rowshyra et al, 2014). This research was conducted within a range of320 km section of the river stretching from Lake St. Francis to theQuebec City. It has also been indicated that nitrogen and phosphoruslevels are high in the St. Lawrence River as the water in the riverflows from Montreal to the Quebec City. This questions the waterquality of the river.

Thepresence of these substances in the St. Lawrence River is a problembecause the substances cause water pollution that has the capacity ofaffecting the health of individuals using the water from the river,as well as, the survival of aquatic life in the river (Taylor,2012).The parties involved in this issue are the cosmetic companies usingmicro-beads in their products such as Johnson &amp Johnson farmersand the municipality constitute the other stakeholders. The issue ofhaving these substances in St. Lawrence River has not been addressedconclusively since the government has not yet come up with a strictlegislation curbing the problem.

Thenitrogen and phosphorus levels in the river are high as the riverenters the Quebec City because of the municipal wastewater that isreleased to the river (Boyd, 2011). Besides, the condition of thewater in the river is caused by the phosphorus and nitrogen that iscarried by tributaries that drain into the river from agriculturalfarms (Government of Canada, 2012). Furthermore, the micro-plasticsin the river are as a result of cosmetic companies, using micro-beadproducts, releasing wastes into the river. The presence of thesesubstances is going to be a cost on the side of the government. Thisis because when these substances become consumed by fish and otheranimals, they are likely to bring health complications on humanssince the fish and other animals would be consumed by humans. Thegovernment will have to incur costs in providing health services incase of health complications since the government has a role inoffering health services to the public. There are no benefits thatemerge with the presence of these substances in the St. LawrenceRiver.

Differentsolutions can be provided in eliminating the presence of thesepollutants in the St. Lawrence River. One of the solutions entailscoming up with a legislation that restricts the use of plasticmicro-beads in cosmetic products. This would be a cost on the side ofcosmetic companies since they will no longer be using cosmeticproducts that use plastic micro-beads. However, it would bebeneficial to the ecosystem and health of individuals, as well assaving costs for the government on health matters. Another solutionwould be banning the use of fertilizers in farms and promoting theuse of methods such as rotational cropping, intercropping, andfallowing. Farmers are likely to bear the cost of waiting for a longtime before their farms gain fertility naturally, when usingpractices such as fallowing. However, there is a larger benefit ofprotecting human health and aquatic life. The solutions would workbetter because it is possible to work with the stakeholders involvedin ensuring that the substances are avoided.

Thesolutions can be implemented through educating the stakeholdersinvolved on the importance of avoiding water pollution and thebenefits it holds to them and the community at large. It would alsobe necessary to educate the stakeholders on alternative environmentalfriendly products that can help in continuity of their farming andbusiness practices. The role of the policy would be eliminatingsubstances that can cause pollution on St. Lawrence River. The policyis cost-effective because it would not use a lot of resources ineducating the stakeholders involved. In addition, the policy is fairsince it leaves individuals to reap benefits without causing muchdisadvantage that is, the benefits are more than costs.

References

Boyd,R.D. (2011). UnnaturalLaw:&nbspRethinkingCanadian Environmental Law and Policy.Vancouver: UBC Press.

Governmentof Canada (2012). St.Lawrence River Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance Division(2012) Environment Canada.

RowshyraA. Castañeda, Suncica Avlijas, M. Anouk Simard, Anthony Ricciardi,Ralph Smith (2014).&nbspMicroplasticpollution in St. Lawrence River sediments.&nbspCanadianJournal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.

Taylor,J. (2012).Issuesin environment, health, and pollution.S.l.: Scholarly Editions.

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