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Estimating the Economic Benefits of Cleaning Up Superfund Sites: The Case of Woburn, Massachusetts

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Author Info

  • Kiel, Katherine
  • Zabel, Jeffrey

Abstract

Superfund was established in 1980 to deal with closed and abandoned hazardous waste sites. Given the large amounts of money being spent on cleanups of Superfund sites, one might hope that the money is being spent in a cost-effective manner, but there is little evidence that the estimated benefits from cleanup affect the cleanup decision. We apply the hedonic method to house prices to estimate the individual willingness to pay (WTP) to clean up a Superfund site. We then show how the individual WTP can be used to calculate the total benefits from cleaning up the site so that a cost-benefit analysis of Superfund cleanup can be undertaken. We apply our technique to the two Superfund sites in Woburn, Massachusetts. We find that the benefits from cleaning up these sites are in the range of $72 million to $122 million (1992 dollars). It is likely that these benefits are greater than the present value of the estimated costs of cleaning up these sites. Thus it appears that the cleanup of the Woburn Superfund sites results in positive net benefits to society. Copyright 2001 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Real Estate Finance & Economics.

Volume (Year): 22 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (March-May)
Pages: 163-84

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jrefec:v:22:y:2001:i:2-3:p:163-84

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102945

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Cited by:
  1. Olivier Parent & Rainer Hofe, 2013. "Understanding the impact of trails on residential property values in the presence of spatial dependence," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 355-375, October.
  2. Jungik Kim & Peter Goldsmith, 2009. "A Spatial Hedonic Approach to Assess the Impact of Swine Production on Residential Property Values," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(4), pages 509-534, April.
  3. John Braden & Xia Feng & DooHwan Won, 2011. "Waste Sites and Property Values: A Meta-Analysis," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 50(2), pages 175-201, October.
  4. Kim, Jungik & Goldsmith, Peter D. & Thomas, Michael H., 2004. "Using Spatial Econometrics To Assess The Impact Of Swine Production On Residential Property Values," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20186, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  5. Gallagher, Justin & Greenstone, Michael, 2007. "Does Hazardous Waste Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market and the Superfund Program," Working paper 134, Regulation2point0.
  6. Ho, Sa Chau & Hite, Diane, 2004. "Economic Impact Of Environmental Health Risks On House Values In Southeast Region: A County-Level Analysis," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 19921, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  7. Kris Wernstedt, 2004. "Overview of Existing Studies on Community Impacts of Land Reuse," NCEE Working Paper Series 200406, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Jun 2004.
  8. Schwartz, Amy Ellen & Ellen, Ingrid Gould & Voicu, Ioan & Schill, Michael H., 2006. "The external effects of place-based subsidized housing," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 679-707, November.
  9. Ida Ferrara & Stephen McComb & Paul Missios, 2007. "Local Willingness-to-Pay Estimates for the Remediation of the Sydney Tar Ponds in Nova Scotia," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 33(4), pages 441-458, December.
  10. Stefania Tonin & Margherita Turvani, 2011. "Environmental contamination and industrial real estate market: an application of hedonic price method in Italy," ERSA conference papers ersa10p511, European Regional Science Association.
  11. Deaton, Brady J., Jr. & Hoehn, John P., 2002. "The Effect Of Hazardous Waste Sites On Property Values In Zones Of High Industrial Activity: A Hedonic Approach," 2002 Annual meeting, July 28-31, Long Beach, CA 19612, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  12. Niels Vermeer & Wouter Vermeulen, 2011. "External Benefits of Brownfield Redevelopment: An Applied Urban General Equilibrium Analysis," CPB Discussion Paper 178, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  13. Friso de Vor & Henri L.F. de Groot, 0000. "The Impact of Industrial Sites on Residential Property Values," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-035/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  14. Wernstedt, Kris & Alberini, Anna & Heberle, Lauren & Meyer, Peter, 2004. "The Brownfields Phenomenon: Much Ado about Something or the Timing of the Shrewd?," Discussion Papers dp-04-46, Resources For the Future.
  15. Dennis Guignet, 2013. "What Do Property Values Really Tell Us? A Hedonic Study of Underground Storage Tanks," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 89(2), pages 211-226.
  16. Dennis Kaufman & Norman Cloutier, 2006. "The Impact of Small Brownfields and Greenspaces on Residential Property Values," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 19-30, August.
  17. Robin R. Jenkins & Elizabeth Kopits & David Simpson, 2006. "Measuring the Social Benefits of EPA Land Cleanup and Reuse Programs," NCEE Working Paper Series 200603, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Sep 2006.

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