Interest of site-specific pollution control policies
Owing to increasing environmental concerns the current trend is to bend technical production systems in order to adapt them to the specific characteristics of the milieu and diversify them. Inherent to such dynamics is the issue of how to design the accompanying environmental policies. Theoretically, spatially targeted environmental policies are considered optimal, since economic agents tune their efforts according to the sensitivity of the milieu where they operate. But, according to empirical analyses, this advantage is undermined by the high cost of implementation, monitoring and enforcement. This paper outlines the conditions required for site-specific policies to be effective at least cost. Our starting point is the nitrate pollution of water from agriculture, which varies according to climate, soil type and agricultural production system. Farm management practices enabling to reduce pollution depend on this variability. An interdisciplinary study of the efficiency of differentiating the way this pollution is regulated was carried out on two sites in France. It focussed on assessing the importance of spatial variability in physical parameters and in private and social costs.
|Date of creation:||2004|
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