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Incentive-Based Land Use Policies and Water Quality in the Chesapeake Bay

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  • Walls, Margaret

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • McConnell, Virginia

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

Abstract 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 Info

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-04-20.

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Date of creation: 02 Apr 2004
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-04-20

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Keywords: development impact fees; nonpoint source pollution; purchase of development rights; transferable development rights;

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References

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  1. Segerson, Kathleen, 1988. "Uncertainty and incentives for nonpoint pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 87-98, March.
  2. Stavins, Robert, 2004. "Environmental Economics," Discussion Papers dp-04-54, Resources For the Future.
  3. Walls, Margaret & McConnell, Virginia & Kopits, Elizabeth, 2003. "How Well Can Markets for Development Rights Work? Evaluating a Farmland Preservation Program," Discussion Papers dp-03-08, Resources For the Future.
  4. Hahn, Robert W., 1982. "Market Power and Transferable Property Rights," Working Papers 402, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  5. Cabe, Richard & Herriges, Joseph A., 1992. "The regulation of non-point-source pollution under imperfect and asymmetric information," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 134-146, March.
  6. Paul Thorsnes & Gerald P. W. Simons, 1999. "Letting The Market Preserve Land: The Case For A Market-Driven Transfer Of Development Rights Program," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 17(2), pages 256-266, 04.
  7. Yinger, John, 1998. "The Incidence of Development Fees and Special Assessments," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 1), pages 23-41, March.
  8. Marc O. Ribaudo, 1989. "Targeting the Conservation Reserve Program to Maximize Water Quality Benefits," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 65(4), pages 320-332.
  9. Stavins Robert N., 1995. "Transaction Costs and Tradeable Permits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 133-148, September.
  10. James Shortle & David Abler & Richard Horan, 1998. "Research Issues in Nonpoint Pollution Control," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 571-585, April.
  11. Barry C. Field & Jon M. Conrad, 1975. "Economic Issues in Programs of Transferable Development Rights," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(4), pages 331-340.
  12. Brueckner, Jan K., 1997. "Infrastructure financing and urban development:: The economics of impact fees," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 383-407, December.
  13. Boyd, James, 2000. "The New Face of the Clean Water Act: A Critical Review of the EPA's Proposed TMDL Rules," Discussion Papers dp-00-12, Resources For the Future.
  14. Levinson, Arik, 1997. "Why oppose TDRs?: Transferable development rights can increase overall development," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 283-296, June.
  15. David E. Mills, 1989. "Is Zoning a Negative-Sum Game?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 65(1), pages 1-12.
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Cited by:
  1. McConnell, Virginia & Walls, Margaret & Kopits, Elizabeth, 2006. "Zoning, TDRs and the density of development," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 440-457, May.
  2. Elizabeth Kopits & Virginia McConnell & Margaret Walls, 2008. "Making Markets for Development Rights Work: What Determines Demand?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 84(1), pages 1-16.

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