Emissions Trading, An Exercise in Reforming Pollution Policy

By T. H. Tietenberg | Go to book overview

8 / Enforcement

Even the most carefully designed regulatory programs can flounder if the enforcement effort is deficient. Establishing transferable permit systems which allocate the control responsibility cost effectively is of little value if sources regularly fail to comply with the terms of their permits. Ineffective enforcement could undermine the quest for better air quality at lower cost.

The effectiveness of any enforcement program is not only a function of such readily identifiable factors as the size, motivation, and competence of the enforcement staff; the nature of the program makes a difference. Some programs (such as those involving more easily detected violations) are inherently easier to enforce.

Stationary source air pollution control is not one of the easier programs to enforce. Many of the pollutants are invisible to the naked eye and can be measured only with fairly expensive instrumentation. Although the public at large is victimized by pollution, they are so unaware of the dangers that they cannot be relied upon to assist the regulatory authorities by pointing out violations.1 The regulatory authorities are pretty much on their own.

For our purposes, the main question of interest is how the emissions trading program has affected enforcement. Has enforcement been made easier or more difficult by the program? To what extent do the enforcement properties of the emissions trading program reinforce or limit the ability of the program to. accomplish its objectives?

____________________
1
The Clean Air Act provides for citizen suits, but this provision is rarely used. See 42 U.S.C. 7604.

-168-

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Emissions Trading, An Exercise in Reforming Pollution Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables ix
  • Preface xi
  • Abbreviations xiv
  • 1 / Introduction 1
  • References 13
  • 2 - /The Conceptual Framework 14
  • References 35
  • 3 - The Potential For Cost Savings 38
  • Summary 56
  • 4 - The Spatial Dimension 60
  • Summary 89
  • 5 - Distributing The Financial Burden 93
  • Summary 120
  • References 123
  • 6 - Market Power 125
  • Summary 145
  • 7 - The Temporal Dimension 149
  • Summary 165
  • 8 - Enforcement 168
  • Summary 184
  • 9 - Evaluation and Proposals For Further Reform 188
  • Concluding Comments 213
  • References 214
  • Index 217
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