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A Retrospective Assessment of the Costs of the Clean Water Act:1972-1997 2000

Published: October 01, 2000

this study assesses the magnitude of these costs in recent years, now that the CWA has been in place for over a quarter century.  To properly account for these costs, it is important to stress that some of the costs that are currently being incurred to reduce water pollution would have existed even without the CWA.  Although the CWA established a discharge permit system and provided significant federal financial assistance for constructing public treatment facilities, significant public and private investments in water pollution control existed prior to 1972.  These expenditures would most likely have continued to grow after 1972 even if the CWA had not been enacted.  Therefore, the approach taken in this study is to, not only estimate recent nationwide costs of water pollution abatement (WPA), but also to simulate and deduct from these estimates the WPA costs that would have been incurred with the CWA.

Download: Electronic Version
Originator: US EPA/Office of Water and Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation

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