1.4. EPA Research on Environmental Economics
In order to carry out its duties to protect human health and the environment, EPA needs reliable scientific and technical information, as well as access to the scientific community. To promote these ends, EPA established within the Office of Research and Development (ORD) the National Center for Environmental Research and Quality Assurance. This Office funds research in fields of environmental science and engineering in over 20 areas of research including environmental economics.
In the socioeconomic area, the National Center for Environmental Research and Quality Assurance in partnership with the National Science Foundation has provided about $2.5 million annually for research on Decision-making and Valuation for Environmental Policy since 1995, much of which involves environmental economics. The program has supported approximately ten to 15 new projects each year since then. The Office of Research and Development also supported socioeconomic research as part of its Exploratory Research Program until very recently. Several of the ORD projects funded from 1991 to the present are described in the individual sections of this report. These projects are included in the EPA/NSF Research Funding database.
In addition, both the Office of Research and Development and the EPA Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation have funded and continue to fund both intramural and extramural research through other programs at various times since the Agency was founded in 1970 (see Appendix 1 for a brief overview of these programs). Currently, the major such program within the Office of Policy, Planning and Evalution is in the Economy and Environment Division of the Office of Economy and Environment. Most of the resulting reports are included in the Environmental Economics Report Inventory (EERI) database. Some additional economic studies have also been and are being funded by EPA program offices, but are not reviewed in this report.