Economic Disincentives for Pollution Control: Legal, Political and Administrative Dimensions
This report defines an economic disincentive as a monetary charge levied by government on conduct which is not illegal but which does impose social costs, for the principal purpose of discouraging the conduct. Disincentives are distinguished from other legal mechanisms which may have incidental economic disincentive effects, e.g., fines, user charges, and license fees. The constitutionality of federal of state imposition of disincentives is examined and the authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the states to utilize disincentives under selected federal environmental statues is analyzed. The legality of some disincentives adopted by states is discussed. The charges imposed by several European countries are described and distinguished from disincentives. The history of some previous proposals for federal disincentives is reviewed and suggestions for additional disincentives which might be feasible are offered.
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