Environmental Economics

The Cost to Industries of Meeting the 1977 Provisions of the Water Pollution Control Amendments of 1972

This report is an analysis of US EPA estimates of the short-run, private costs of complying with best practicable technology, municipal treatment, user charges, and new source performance standards under the Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972.
The report first discusses the concept of costs including the distinctions between costs and expenditures; short-run and long-run costs; the costs of pollution control and pollution policy; and social costs as opposed to private costs.
The report then focuses on certain cost-estimation problems specific to the issues of determining best practicable technology. Among the problems discussed are inherent ambiguities in the definition of best practicable technology, the difficulty of a single cost estimate to reflect different factor costs and product prices, and the difficulty of imputing annualized capital costs.
The next section discusses and analyzes EPA costing technology. Attention is first directed towards the methods of developing cost data and then towards the means of extrapolating this information to industrywide estimates. Three data development methods are described: surveys, engineering models, and "functional plant" approach.
The report then summarizes the revisions to EPA estimates made by NBER. After a brief discussion of definitions, the NBER estimates are summarized followed by a discussion comparing NBER and EPA estimates. Tables showing the detailed breakdown of these estimates--both in EPA industry definition and by Standard Industrial Classification--are found in the final section of the report. Accompanying appendices provide an industry-by-industry description of EPA and NBER costing methodology.

  • Keywords

    3. Cost and Economic Impacts Analysis
    3. Costs and Economic Impact Analysis - Specific Sectors and Pollutants
    Environmental Media:
    b. Water
    b. Water - Surface
    Gianessi, L.P.
    Peskin, H.M.
    EPA Project Officer/ Manager:
    Geographic Area:
    United States
    Study Purpose:
    Empirical Application, Data Development
    Inventory Record #: EE-0143
  • Participating Organizations

    Research Organization:

    National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.Address:
    City: State: ZIP:
    Phone: Fax:
    Funding Organization:
    Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Planning and Evaluation, Economic Analysis DivisionAddress:
    City: State: ZIP:
    Phone: Fax:
  • Report Details
    Number of Pages:
    Grant/Contract #:
  • How to Obtain Report

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