Environmental Economics

Pathogens and Swimming: An Economic Assessment of Beach Monitoring and Closure

In this report, we examine several policy issues involved in monitoring swimming beaches for bacteriological water quality and closing them when standards are exceeded. EPA recently initiated, and then deferred for budgetary reasons, a policy dialogue with the parties interested in the recreational water quality criteria. This paper was requested to provide an economic perspective on the issues involved in beach monitoring and closure for the participants in the policy dialogue. The central question addressed in this paper is: What is at stake economically in choosing between: a) Not monitoring a swimming beach; and b) Monitoring the beach and then closing it when the bacteriological criterion is exceeded?

  • Keywords

    2. Cost-Benefit and Cost Effectiveness Analysis
    2. Cost-Benefit and Cost Effectiveness Analysis - Specific Sectors and Pollutants
    2. Cost-Benefit and Cost Effectiveness Analysis - Enforcement and Monitoring
    Environmental Media:
    b. Water
    b. Water - Surface
    EPA Project Officer/ Manager:
    Geographic Area:
    Study Purpose:
    Methodology Development & Evaluation, Policy Evaluation
    Inventory Record #: EE-0114
  • Participating Organizations

    Research Organization:

    Environomics, Inc.Address: 4520 East-West Highway, Suite 300
    City: Bethesda State: MD ZIP: 20814
    Phone: Fax:
    Funding Organization:
    Environmental Protection Agency,
    Office of Policy Analysis
    City: Washington State: DC ZIP: 20460
    Phone: Fax:
  • Report Details
    Number of Pages:
    Grant/Contract #:
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    Date Linked: 08/25/2017