Determinants of Environmental Noncompliance by Public Water Systems

By Rahman, Tauhidur; Kohli, Mini et al. | Contemporary Economic Policy, April 2010 | Go to article overview

Determinants of Environmental Noncompliance by Public Water Systems


Rahman, Tauhidur, Kohli, Mini, Megdal, Sharon, Aradhyula, Satheesh, Moxley, Jackie, Contemporary Economic Policy


I. INTRODUCTION

Water pollution is a serious public health risk. It is estimated that each year between 7 and 30 million people in the United States are affected by gastrointestinal illnesses from consumption of contaminated drinking water (Gelt, 1998). Also excessive nitrate concentrations in water supplies are the cause of "blue-baby" syndrome and can cause stillbirth in both humans and livestock. (1) Thus, water quality is an issue of state as well as federal attention and involvement. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), passed in 1974, authorized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set standards for drinking water quality. These standards, known as MCL, are maximum permissible levels of naturally occurring and human-made contaminants that can be present in drinking water without being harmful to health (Safe Drinking Water Act, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1974). (2) The EPA defines a public water system (PWS) as "[a] system for the provision to the public of water for human consumption through pipes or other constructed conveyances, if such system has at least fifteen service connections or regularly serves at least twenty-five individuals" (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2005). In Arizona, more than 5 million people receive drinking water from a regulated PWS (Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, 2004a). The remaining residents, amounting to about 10% of the state's entire population, get their supply of drinking water from private wells.

There is growing concern about the operations of PWS responsible for providing safe drinking water to people. Drinking water can get contaminated through perforation of chemicals and bacteria in the soil or as a result of exposure to pollutants in the air. Regardless of the manner of pollution, if consumed, contaminated water can be perilous to human health. In Arizona, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) monitors water systems in accordance with the provisions of the SDWA of 1974 and amendments made to the act in 1986 and 1996. It is the state agency responsible for ensuring that the level of contaminants present in the water is lower than the maximum permissible limits specified by the EPA. (3) However, the mere presence of laws and regulations does not necessarily guarantee compliance. An effective monitoring and enforcement strategy is essential to ensure the success of any regulatory mechanism. Hence, there arises the need for a monitoring mechanism by ADEQ that is preemptive, effective, and ensures the delivery of safe drinking water. For ADEQ to be able to accomplish these objectives, it would require a clear identification of PWS that are more likely to violate MCL regulations. Having this knowledge will enable ADEQ to monitor identified PWS at regular intervals in a timely fashion. It will also allow ADEQ to devote its limited resources to the inspection of those systems that have a higher probability of violating MCL regulations instead of randomly inspecting each of the hundreds of water systems operating in the state.

Whereas a large number of empirical studies have been devoted to analyzing determinants of environmental compliance (EC) by firms, less attention has been paid to EC by PWS. In this article, using data on MCL compliance of 971 PWS in Arizona, we identify the PWS and their associated characteristics that are more likely to violate MCL regulation. Our dependent variable of interest is the occurrence of an MCL violation by a PWS. Since this variable is binary (dichotomous) in nature, we estimate a probit model that allows the estimation of probability of MCL violation by an individual PWS.

The remainder of the article is organized as follows. Section II describes the monitoring mechanisms of the ADEQ. Section III briefly discusses relevant previous studies addressing the determinants of EC. Section IV provides a description of the data used and the empirical methodology. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Determinants of Environmental Noncompliance by Public Water Systems
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.