The public value of contaminated soil remediation in Janghang copper smelter of Korea
The Korean government planned to remediate the soil contaminated with heavy metals, such as arsenic, cadmium, and lead, in Janghang copper smelter (JCS). The policy-makers are demanding a figure about the public value of the remediation. Therefore, this paper describes an attempt to measure the public value, applying the contingent valuation (CV) method. To this end, we conducted a CV survey of 1000 households in Korea in 2015. We used a one-and-one-half-bounded dichotomous choice question to derive the willingness to pay (WTP) responses, and utilized a spike model to analyze zero WTP responses. The mean WTP was computed to be KRW 1627 (USD 1.37) per household per year and statistically meaningful at the 1% level. Expanding the value to the national population gives us KRW 30.4 billion (USD 25.7 million) per year. The present value of the total public value for the next ten years reaches KRW 241.7 billion (USD 204.0 million), using a social discount rate of 5.5%. We can conclude that Korean households are ready to shoulder some of the financial burden for contaminated soil remediation in JCS. Moreover, we conducted economic feasibility analysis of the remediation and found that it is socially profitable.
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