Pollution Limits and Polluters’ Efforts to Comply: The Role of Government Monitoring and Enforcement

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Stanford University Press, Apr 14, 2011 - Business & Economics - 336 pages
This book integrates the fields of economics and law to empirically examine compliance with regulatory obligations under the Clean Water Act (CWA). It examines four dimensions of federal water pollution control policy in the United States: limits imposed on industrial facilities' pollution discharges; facilities' efforts to comply with pollution limits, identified as "environmental behavior"; facilities' success at controlling their discharges to comply with pollution limits, identified as "environmental performance"; and regulators' efforts to induce compliance via inspections and enforcement actions, identified as "government interventions." The authors gather and analyze data on environmental performance and government interventions from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) databases, and data on environmental behavior gathered from their own survey of all 1,612 chemical manufacturing facilities permitted to discharge wastewater in 2002. By analyzing links between critical elements in the puzzle of enforcement of and compliance with environmental protection laws, the text speaks to several important, policy-relevant research questions: Do government interventions help induce better environmental behavior and/or better environmental performance? Do tighter pollution limits improve environmental behavior and/or performance? And, does better environmental behavior lead to better environmental performance?

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1 Introduction
Sample of Regulated Facilities
3 Summary of Research Questions and Review of Previous Studies
4 Discharge Limits Imposed on Discharging Facilities
Facilities Efforts to Comply with Discharge Limits
Facilities Discharges and Compliance with Discharge Limits
7 Regulatory Efforts to Induce Compliance with Discharge Limits
8 Effect of Government Interventions on Environmental Behavior
9 Effect of Government Interventions on Environmental Performance
10 Summary Conclusions Policy Implications and Future Research

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About the author (2011)

Dietrich Earnhart is Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Environmental Policy at the University of Kansas. A nationally recognized authority on environmental and natural resources law, Robert L. Glicksman is the J.B. & Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Environmental Law at The George Washington University Law School.

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