¿Cuál Es El Costo De La Contaminación Ambiental Minera Sobre Los Recursos Hídricos En El Perú?
This study estimates the economic cost of mining pollution on water resources for the years 2008 and 2009 based on the conceptual framework of Environmental Efficiency (Pittman, 1981.1983, Färe et al., 1989, 1993, 2003; Rao, 2000). This framework understands such costs as the mining companies trade-off between increasing production that is saleable at market prices (desirable-output) and reducing environmental pollution that emerges from the production process (output-undesirable). These economic costs were calculated from parametric and nonparametric production possibility frontiers to 28 and 37 mining units in 2008 and 2009, respectively, which were under the purview of the National Campaign for Environmental Monitoring of Effluent and Water Resources conducted by Energy and Mining Investment Supervisory Agency (OSINERGMIN) in those years. The results show that the economic cost of mining pollution on water resources raised to $ 814.7 million and U.S. $ 448.8 million for 2008 and 2009, respectively. This economic cost was highly concentrated in a few mining units, within a few pollution parameters, and was also higher in mining units with average/low mineral production. The Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and the Tobit regressions were not able to identify a pattern that explains the economic costs by using institutional, spatial and operational variables, which may be noted that it could be explained by factors related to the environmental management of mining production process. Taking into consideration that at present the fine and penalty system in the mining sector is based on an administrative-criteria, which does not fine for the potential environmental damage generated, the results of this study highlight the need to redesign this system based on an economic-criteria in order to establish a preventive mechanism of the pollution process in order to generate the necessary incentives for mining companies to address negative externalities that emerge from their production process.
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