The Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) conducts economic analyses as part of its decision making process, for example, during strategic planning or priority setting, development of voluntary actions and regulations, and the measurement of results. Economic analyses include market studies, financial feasibility studies, and industry sector studies. More detailed economic analyses, commonly referred to as regulatory impact analyses (RIAs), incorporate risk findings with valuation to assess benefits of actions being considered and compare these benefits to estimated costs. Economic analyses provide Agency decision makers with information about potential economic impacts of actions developed to protect human health and the environment. Economic analyses performed in OPPT are the responsibility of the Economic and Policy Analysis Branch (EPAB) in the Economics, Exposure and Technology Division (EETD).
Economic analysis and related activities in OPPT include:
Benefit-Cost Analysis: conducting analysis of benefits, costs, and socio-economic impacts of regulatory and non-regulatory actions for OPPT under the following statutes:
Program Support: preparing analyses of chemical markets, industry trends, chemical substitutes and chemical uses as required to support regulatory program activities including New Chemicals and Existing Chemicals and voluntary programs including Design for the Environment (DfE) and Pollution Prevention. Support includes the assessment of the economic effects on chemical manufacturers, processors, and users and the impact on small businesses, employment, the national economy, international trade, and technological innovation. Support is also provided to other EPA media programs on occasion in the form of chemical market studies, and use and substitutes studies.
Economic/Policy Studies: providing economic/policy studies requested by senior management and developing special studies and conferences.
Regulatory Development Process: participating in the development of regulations (e.g. The Lead Program and the Inventory Update Rule Amendments), ensuring that economic and social issues are fully considered in regulatory decision processes, and preparing Regulatory Impact Analyses, Regulatory Flexibility Analyses and other economic analyses required by statute or Executive Order, including E.O. 12866 , Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1992 , the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) and E.O. 12898 (Environmental Justice).
Developing Techniques: ensuring that economic and market analysis techniques are state-of-the-art and in compliance with accepted practice and OPPT and EPA guidelines.
Economic and Environmental Indicator Model Development: developing economic and policy models, including the Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators Model, Cost of Illness Handbook, and the EcoBenefits Model.
Methodology Development: developing methodology to incorporate pollution prevention and economic incentives into the rulemaking and non-rulemaking activities of OPPT.