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Costs and Benefits of Fly Ash Control (1973)

Paper Number: EE-0089

Document Date: 11/21/1973

Author(s):  Watson, William D.

Subject Area(s):

Economic Analysis, Economic Incentives, Pollution Fees, Air Pollution Controls

Keywords:  Economic Analysis, Economic Incentives, Pollution Fees, Air Pollution Controls

Abstract: 

The purpose of this paper is to provide qualified answers to these questions: What level of charge will induce a power plant operator to meet the standards? Is the standard one at which marginal costs are approximately equal to marginal benefits? The analysis proceeds in these steps: 1) It is first shown that electrostatic precipitation of fly ash is likely to be less costly than other similar available techniques for controlling fly ash discharges from coal-fired power plants. 2) Using marginal cost functions for electrostatic precipitation, ranges of effluent charges sufficient to induce cost minimizing power plant operators to meet new source fly ash standards are reported. 3) Assuming achievement of new source standards, comparisons are made on a national basis between total costs and benefits and between marginal costs and benefits of fly ash control. Some caveats on the meaning of these comparisons are presented.

A copy of a related report  Enforcement Economics In Air Pollution Control (EPA-600/5-73-014, December 1973) prepared at this time by the author is also available at the National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP)

This paper is part of the  Environmental Economics Research Inventory.

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  • Costs and Benefits of Fly Ash Control (1973) (PDF)(32 pp, 8 MB, 11/21/1973, EE-0089)
    The purpose of this paper is to provide qualified answers to these questions: What level of charge will induce a power plant operator to meet the standards? Is the standard one at which marginal costs are approximately equal to marginal benefits?