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Improving RIAs: Suggestions for the Analysis of Hazardous Waste Regulations

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The report describes the results of a study comparing the information provided in eight hazardous waste regulatory impact analyses (RIAs) to EPA guidelines for the preparation of RIAs. Results were summarized and suggestions were made for improving future RIAs. The categories for evaluation of the RIAs were the nature of the problem, regulatory alternatives analyzed, data sources used, product market impact analysis, analysis of impacts on exposure, benefits estimation, costs estimation, comparison of costs and benefits, and the RIA as a whole. The eight RIAs were for the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan, Management of Used Oil, Small Quantity Generators of Hazardous Waste, Reportable Quantity Adjustments under Sections 102 and 103 of CERCLA, RCRA Incinerator Regulations, and Land Disposal of Hazardous Wastes, Certain Dioxin-containing Wastes, and Certain Solvent Wastes. An Executive Summary is also available.

Executive Order 12291, issued by President Reagan on February 17, 1981, requires that Federal agencies prepare a regulatory impact analysis (RIA) for their new major regulations. The intent of this order was to ensure that regulations would be subject to a rigorous benefit-cost analysis before they could be promulgated and that alternatives to regulation would be considered. As stated in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Guidelines for Performing Regulatory Impact Analyses "...by developing and organizing information, quantifying and monetizing benefits and costs to the extent possible, and determining distributional effects and economic impacts, the RIA should provide decisionmakers with a comprehensive assessment of the implications of alternative regulatory actions." This study explores how future hazardous waste RIAs could be performed so as to provide such comprehensive information for regulatory decisionmakers.


Mauskopf, Josephine A., Anderson, Donald, and Jacobs, Pamela

Resource Type:

Research paper/report



Use Type:

Special topics
EPA programs
Case studies


Cost-benefit analysis
General policy analysis



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