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Need access to the basics? This popular handbook uses a practical and easy-to-read approach to explaining the scope of environmental regulations and providing concise yet comprehensive discussions of 38 federal environmental acts.

  • ISBN - The ABCs of Environmental Regulation 3rd Edition Direct Textbook;
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Written in non-technical language, this revised edition reflects the changes that have occurred in the federal environmental regulations, including shifts in Superfund cleanups, chemical safety provisions and site security for air, medical waste restrictions, wetlands protection provisions, and contaminated site restorations.

Each chapter summarizes one key subject area enabling you to use this book as both a quick-reference guide and as a concise macro-picture of the federal environmental regulations. Dall'interno del libro. Indice Air. Waste and Tanks. Responding to Contaminant Releases. Nature and Natural Resources. In , OSHA proposed a maximum permissible exposure limit of 0. In members of the United Nations Environment Program's Halons Technical Options Committee disagreed on whether direct halon replacements could be found and whether a phase-out was possible.

However, in the committee concluded that a phase-out of halons, a substance found in fire extinguishers that destroys the ozone layer faster than chlorofluorocarbons, would be both technologically and economically feasible by Strip mining.

The ABCs of Environmental Regulation: Understanding the Federal Programs

After the regulations were adopted, the market switched away from coal deposits with high reclamation costs. Ready substitutes included surface-minable coal in flatter areas with lower reclamation costs , and underground deposits.

Vinyl chloride. OSHA's vinyl chloride standard, set in , provides a final example of wildly excessive cost projections. In addition, the consultant argued that the 1 ppm permissible exposure limit simply could not be attained. The president of Firestone's plastics division said that a standard of 1 ppm "puts the vinyl plastics industry on a collision course with economic disaster. In spite of these protests, OSHA did adopt the strict permissible exposure limit of 1 ppm.

A congressional research paper also indicated that the actual cost of compliance was dramatically less than the original prediction. The early claims that the 1 ppm standard could not be met evaporated; instead, the regulatory action led to about a 6 percent rise in polyvinyl chloride prices. W hile costs have been consistently overestimated for emission reduction, they have been underestimated for environmental cleanup. Costs for the Superfund program have also mushroomed. When first launched, people expected the mandated cleanups to apply to a small handful of Love Canals.

However, the program has expanded dramatically, now covering far more than a thousand sites. In addition, cleanup has proved far more costly than predicted: The average cost overrun on cleanup expenditures at Superfund sites has been 44 percent. The message from these cases is clear. On the one hand, treating already polluted water, cleaning dirty soil, and scrubbing oily rocks costs a lot of money, much more than expected. On the other, when it comes to reducing pollution emissions at the source, it is almost certain to be substantially cheaper than we think it will be.

Updating Poor Richard's Almanack , an ounce of prevention is clearly worth a pound of cleanup.

Law and Legal Studies

W hy were the estimated costs of reducing emissions at the source so inflated? The reason, of course, is "technology-forcing. Frequently the new technology turns out to have higher productivity benefits, which help to offset the cost of the regulation. To see this, it is worth looking in detail at two high-profile cases where markets have responded to regulation by cutting costs. Robert Hahn, a well-known environmental economist, is currently a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and an adjunct research fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and is a former senior staff member of Bush's Council of Economic Advisors.

The ABCs of Environmental Regulation, ISBN: , -

Business Roundtable predicting the impact of the proposed Clean Air Act amendments on employment. These amendments had the dual purpose of cleaning up both acid rain and so-called "air toxics" from industrial plants. The executive summary of Hahn's report leaves "no doubt that, across the Clean Air Act Amendments studied, there are a minimum of several hundred thousand jobs at various levels of severity of risk—even with the more moderate [Bush] Administration proposals.

Hahn and his co-author viewed this as "truly a limiting, rock-bottom estimate" for several reasons. Important among them was that it considered only job losses arising from one portion of the bill—control of air toxics. The amendments did pass later in The bill was in most respects more restrictive on air toxics than the one on which Hahn's study based its minimum job loss estimates.

In the almost seven years since passage of the legislation, fewer than 7, workers have received aid because their jobs were affected by the Clean Air Act amendments.

And the vast majority of these have been eastern, high-sulfur-coal miners, who have been laid off due not to the air toxics provision, but to the acid rain amendment. The same legislation has in fact led to a boom in the western, low-sulfur-coal industry.

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No workers from shut-down coke oven plants have received adjustment assistance. Hahn was consulting for industry here, so it is not surprising that his numbers were a bit on the high side. Corporate America, when faced with new regulations, has never been shy about claiming that the sky is falling. But Hahn is not a hired gun; he has very solid academic credentials. How could he have gotten it so wrong?

It turns out that Hahn's overestimation of regulatory impacts, while extreme, is not unusual. In fact, as we have seen in every case for which we have been able to track down data, academic and government economists have routinely overestimated the costs of reducing pollution emissions—by at least 30 percent, and generally by more than percent. The EPA's acid rain program is another dramatic case in point. Since , electrical utilities have been required to hold permits for each ton of sulfur dioxide they emit.

These permits, in limited supply, are distributed to firms each year by the government. The innovative feature of the program is that the permits can then be bought and sold.

The evolution of environmental regulation

Given this, permit prices roughly reflect per ton pollution control costs. This is true because a firm generally wouldn't buy an extra permit if the cost of doing so exceeded the cost of reducing sulfur emissions by a ton. Part of the current low permit price is due to a higher than expected initial supply of permits, but real compliance costs have in fact been two to four times lower than the EPA expected, and four to eight times below industry estimates.

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