Prevention Versus Treatment Under Precautionary Regulation: A Case Study Of Groundwater Contamination Under Uncertainty
AbstractPolicy discussions of agricultural pollution problems characterize prevention as more cost effective and precautionary than ex post treatment. We derive conditions under which treatment alone is more cost effective in situations involving multiple sources of emissions, multiple sites affected, and a commonly used precautionary approach to uncertainty. We also show that a greater degree of precaution can result in less reliance on prevention. An empirical case study indicates that treatment alone is the most cost effective means of dealing with nitrate in most Maryland community water system wells. The use of leaching prevention measures is restricted to the most intensive poultry producing areas. The incremental cost of precaution is substantial.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics in its series Working Papers with number 28584.
Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Environmental Economics and Policy;
Other versions of this item:
- Erik Lichtenberg & Tony M. Penn, 2003. "Prevention versus Treatment under Precautionary Regulation: A Case Study of Groundwater Contamination under Uncertainty," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(1), pages 44-58.
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