A local business getting ready to move out of state begins disposing of caustic chemicals by placing them in a dumpster and pouring acid-based materials down a floor drain. Why would someone do such a thing? Well, the proper disposal of hazardous waste costs money. Legitimate businesses that generate hazardous waste contract with companies that are licensed to handle and dispose of such materials. These "normal" business costs are passed on to the consumer.
Clean Up Costs
A disreputable business person will illegally dispose of the hazardous substance, and still pass the "cost" of proper disposal along to the consumer, realizing a larger profit margin on their product or service. While maximizing profit, the individual creates environmental ills that may cost the public significant health and clean-up costs.
A building contractor is grading new home lots during the rainy season. The contractor fails to comply with a required erosion control plan that mitigates the impact of rainwater runoff. A large storm hits the region and a significant amount of mud and silt is washed into a nearby stream. This condition is very hazardous, if not deadly, to the aquatic habitat.
Intentional Environmental Damage
An auto mechanic is replacing a radiator and intentionally drains the radiator fluid into a nearby storm drain. The fluid flows into Santa Rosa Creek killing small fish fingerlings.