Clean Water Act Brief
27 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2008
Date Written: July, 21 2008
As economists, we believe that the Second Circuit's ruling, by not allowing the consideration of important information about the relationships between the benefits and costs of alternatives, is economically unsound. In particular, we believe that, as a general principle, regulators cannot make rational decisions unless they are allowed to compare costs and benefits and to use the results, along with other factors as appropriate, to choose among alternatives.
To the extent permissible under the statute and case law, EPA should be allowed to consider benefits and costs in establishing rules for implementing s316(b). The Court's allowing EPA to consider benefits and costs would improve both the decision making process - by making it more transparent - and the regulatory decisions by allowing important relevant information to be considered explicitly.
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