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Measuring the Social Benefits of EPA Land Cleanup and Reuse Programs

Author

Listed:
  • Robin R. Jenkins
  • Elizabeth Kopits
  • David Simpson

Abstract

The EPA has a cornucopia of cleanup and reuse programs ranging from the Superfund Program which addresses sites posing imminent danger and many of the most hazardous sites nationwide, to the Brownfields Program which addresses lower risk sites. These programs provide a common set of primary benefits: reductions in health risks and ecosystem damages, and improvements in amenity values. Indirect benefits include changes in factor, especially land, productivity. A different indirect benefit stems from better information in land markets compared to when land is contaminated, a situation that seems marked by asymmetric information and that might depress the frequency of land transactions. Both indirect benefit categories are a result of the primary benefits and would not be added to them. Cleaning up and reusing urban contaminated sites might generate two additional types of benefits: preservation of green space, and agglomeration benefits. Limited empirical work has addressed each of these benefit categories. Taken as a whole, the literature providing information on the social benefits of cleanup and reuse is spotty and incomplete and perhaps raises more questions than it answers. Would a comprehensive study of the benefits of all cleanup programs, or even of all aspects of one program, do better to focus on primary effects or property value changes? What is the appropriate baseline for hedonic studies? Under what conditions does reusing contaminated land deter greenfield development on the urban periphery?

Suggested Citation

  • Robin R. Jenkins & Elizabeth Kopits & David Simpson, 2006. "Measuring the Social Benefits of EPA Land Cleanup and Reuse Programs," NCEE Working Paper Series 200603, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Sep 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:nev:wpaper:wp200603
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    File URL: https://www.epa.gov/environmental-economics/working-paper-measuring-social-benefits-epa-land-cleanup-and-reuse-programs
    File Function: First version, 2006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Linn, Joshua, 2013. "The effect of voluntary brownfields programs on nearby property values: Evidence from Illinois," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 1-18.
    2. Bartke, Stephan, 2015. "The economic role of valuers in real property markets," UFZ Discussion Papers 13/2015, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).
    3. Gamper-Rabindran, Shanti & Timmins, Christopher, 2013. "Does cleanup of hazardous waste sites raise housing values? Evidence of spatially localized benefits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 345-360.
    4. Kim, GwanSeon & Schieffer, Jack & Mark, Tyler, 2016. "Do Superfund Sites Affect Local Property Values? Evidence from a Spatial Hedonic Approach," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235835, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Haitao Yin & Howard Kunreuther & Matthew W. White, 2011. "Risk-Based Pricing and Risk-Reducing Effort: Does the Private Insurance Market Reduce Environmental Accidents?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(2), pages 325-363.
    6. Haitao Yin & Howard Kunreuther & Matthew White, 2009. "Risk-Based Pricing and Risk-Reducing Effort: Does the Private Insurance Market Reduce Environmental Accidents?," NBER Working Papers 15100, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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