Air and Water Pollution Regulation: Accomplishments and Economic Consequences

By Martin Freedman; Bikki Jaggi | Go to book overview

and water pollution laws, their achievements and their economic consequences will be analyzed and evaluated. Although the book emphasizes individual plants and companies, the policy implications will concentrate on a more macro level.

The focus of this book is on the environmental and economic achievements of two industries: electric utilities and pulp and paper. Electric utilities do not constitute a typical industry. They are the largest industrial air polluter in the United States and are economically regulated by state utility commissions.2 By examining the accomplishments of the Clean Air Acts on an industry that was specifically targeted for cleanup, a better understanding of the effectiveness of the air pollution legislation can be obtained. Furthermore, the economic impact of the air pollution regulations on these utilities will provide a basis to assess the economic consequences of these laws.

The pulp and paper industry is considered to be one of the major industrial contributors to the water pollution problem in the United States.3 Compared to electric utilities, pulp and paper is more typical of a polluting industry. It is economically unregulated (or as unregulated as a large industry can be in the United States), and its prices are a function of the market (as opposed to a state commission).

By examining the pollution performance of plants and companies in these industries over a relatively long period of time (electric utilities, 1975-87, and pulp and paper, 1978-86) the accomplishments that these entities have made in reducing pollution can be meaningfully assessed. Furthermore, the cleanup's economic implications can also be determined.

The book is divided into four parts. In Part I, air and water pollution laws are discussed and their accomplishments are analyzed. This analysis focuses on the nation's air and water pollution status in 1975, 1978, 1986, 1987 and 1992; the years for which the studies are done on electric utilities and the pulp and paper mills and the current year. Part II deals with the reporting of pollution performance. It is divided into chapters that discuss air pollution performance of electric utilities by plants and then a comparative analysis of this performance by plant and company. Similarly, an analysis is performed of water pollution by pulp and paper mill and by company. In Part III, the economic analysis of air and water pollution abatement is presented. Included in these chapters is a literature review and the economic consequences of the environmental cleanup for both electric utility and the pulp and paper companies. Finally, in Part IV, the methodology including measurement issues is discussed and the public policy implications of the findings are provided.


NOTES
1.
Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments, U.S. Code ( Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1971), Vol. 33, Sec. 1251.

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