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EPA Handbook on the Benefits, Costs, and Impacts of Land Cleanup and Reuse (2011)

Paper Number: EE-0569-02

Document Date: 10/01/2011

Author(s):  Klemick, Heather, Jenkins, Robin, Matthews, Lura, Creason, Jared, Kopits, Elizabeth, Marten, Alex, Simpson, David, Walsh, Patrick, Haninger, Kevin

Subject Area(s):

Land Cleanup, Land Reuse, Economics of Waste Management, Benefit-Cost Analysis

Keywords:  Incentives, Pollution Fees, Charges, Taxes, Trading and Marketable Permits, Deposit-Refund Systems, Liability, Information, Subsidies, Voluntary Programs

Abstract: 

Analysts need reliable methodologies to assess the economic effects of land cleanup and reuse. These economic effects include social benefits, social costs and a miscellaneous variety of economic impacts such as number of jobs or tax revenues.

This need persists despite targeted efforts by EPA to develop benefit and cost estimates. OSWER has undertaken two separate projects to develop methods for estimating the effects of its programs. The first effort proposed a framework and methods to estimate the benefits, costs and impacts of the Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle C prevention and waste minimization program.  A separate project obtained preliminary estimates and suggested methods to comprehensively assess the Superfund remedial program‘s benefits from 1980 to 2004. Science Advisory Board panels evaluating both of these proposals highlighted the lack of appropriate data and sufficiently developed methodologies to obtain credible benefit estimates.

This Handbook describes EPA‘s land cleanup and reuse programs and outlines some of the unique aspects that have complicated efforts to develop suitable methods for estimating benefits. It clarifies the differences between types of economic analyses—specifically, benefit-cost and economic impact analyses. It discusses conceptual background, empirical challenges and practical suggestions for conducting these analyses, as well as summarizing new academic arch in this area.

This paper is part of the  Environmental Economics Research Inventory.

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  • EPA Handbook on the Benefits, Costs, and Impacts of Land Cleanup and Reuse (PDF)(127 pp, 2 MB, 10/01/2011, EE-0569-02, EPA-240-R-11-001)
    This Handbook describes EPA‘s land cleanup and reuse programs and outlines some of the unique aspects that have complicated efforts to develop suitable methods for estimating benefits. It clarifies the differences between types of economic analyses—specifically, benefit-cost and economic impact analyses. It discusses conceptual background, empirical challenges and practical suggestions for conducting these analyses, as well as summarizing new academic research in this area.