Incentive-Based Land Use Policies and Water Quality in the Chesapeake Bay
AbstractAbstract The activities conducted on land surrounding the Chesapeake Bay directly affect pollution levels in the Bay, and they do so in complex and varied ways. Policy attention has been focused, for the most part, on modifying these activities within a particular land use category but not on wholesale changes in land use. For example, farmers are encouraged to use “best management practices” (BMPs) that focus on fertilizer use, crop covers, and the like; residential and commercial developers are encouraged to manage stormwater runoff; and wastewater treatment plants are required to meet technology-based standards. But the amount of land in urbanized uses relative to the amount in farming, forestry, and open space has not been given the attention it deserves. In this paper, we discuss the ways that land use affects pollution in the Bay. We then analyze three economic incentive-based policies that could be used to alter land use patterns—purchase of development rights (PDRs), transferable development rights (TDRs), and development impact fees. The strengths and weaknesses of each policy are discussed. Finally, we discuss the issue of policy coordination, i.e., synchronizing policies focused directly on land use, such as TDRs, with input-based taxes. More research on this important policy issue is needed.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-04-20.
Date of creation: 02 Apr 2004
Date of revision:
development impact fees; nonpoint source pollution; purchase of development rights; transferable development rights;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
- Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
- R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
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