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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Valuation of Surface Water Quality Improvements

Charles Griffiths, Heather Klemick, Matt Massey, Chris Moore (), Stephen Newbold (), David Simpson, Patrick Walsh and William Wheeler ()

Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, 2012, vol. 6, issue 1, 130-146

Abstract: Since 1982, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has used benefit-cost analysis to evaluate many of its surface water quality regulations. Early regulations were aimed at controlling conventional and toxic pollutants that were directly linked to highly visible water quality problems. More recent regulations have focused on "unconventional" water quality stressors or more subtle distinctions in water quality. While a number of national-scale water quality models have been used over the years, there has been less exploration of economic models to estimate benefits. This article addresses three issues that have been particularly challenging in estimating the benefits from water quality improvement: defining standardized measures of water quality improvement, measuring benefits arising from ecological protection and restoration, and measuring nonuse benefits. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

Date: 2012
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Review of Environmental Economics and Policy is currently edited by Robert Stavins

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