Has Surface Water Quality Improved Since the Clean Water Act?
AbstractOn the fortieth anniversary of the Clean Water Act this paper reports the first quantitative assessment of the aggregate trends in water quality in the U.S. using a single standard over the years 1975 to 2011. The analysis suggests that fresh water lakes for the nation as a whole are about at the same quality levels as they were in 1975. In short, viewed in the aggregate, nothing has changed. An assessment of the factors influencing the aggregates also suggests that water quality appears to be affected by the business cycle. This result calls into question the simple descriptions of the change in environmental quality with economic growth that are associated with the Environmental Kuznets Curve.
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Date of creation: Jun 2012
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
- Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2012-07-08 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2012-07-08 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENV-2012-07-08 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-RES-2012-07-08 (Resource Economics)
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