Impact of Government-Sponsored Pollution Prevention Practices on Environmental Compliance and Enforcement: Evidence from a Sample of US Manufacturing Facilities
A two-way fixed effects Poisson model is used to investigate the impact of 43 EPA-sponsored pollution prevention (P2) practices on compliance and enforcement for a sample of facilities in the US manufacturing sector. I find that P2 adoption reduces environmental violations in three industries while increasing violations in two others. P2 adoption also spurs fewer enforcement actions in three industries. I further partition the P2 practices into three categories based on their approach to improve environmental performance. In doing so, I find that practices that involve changes in operating procedures--about a third of adopted P2 practices--such as instituting a self-inspection and monitoring program to discover spills or leak sources, improving maintenance scheduling and/or labeling procedures, are effective in reducing violations while practices that involve equipment or material changes are not. I also find that adopters of practices that require changes in either procedures or manufacturing equipment--about half of adopted practices--are rewarded with a more cooperative treatment of environmental infractions with fewer enforcement actions.
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