Environmental Quality: Three Ways to Decide How Much to Spend

William Mitchell Magazine, Fall 1989

3 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2011

See all articles by Marcia Gelpe

Marcia Gelpe

Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Date Written: 1989

Abstract

Federal and state laws limiting environmental emissions reflect three approaches to deciding how much money to spend on improving environmental quality. The balancing approach estimates the benefits of limiting emissions and the costs of meeting various limits, then sets limits at levels where benefits justify costs. The cost ignoring approach sets emissions limits at levels necessary to prevent environmental harm, without considering the costs of meeting those limits. Technology-based standards limit emissions to levels attainable using the best pollution control technology, as long as no significant environmental effects are known to occur at those levels. In this article, the author describes each of the three approaches and their advantages and disadvantages.

Keywords: evironmental law, emissions

Suggested Citation

Gelpe, Marcia, Environmental Quality: Three Ways to Decide How Much to Spend (1989). William Mitchell Magazine, Fall 1989, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1750395

Marcia Gelpe (Contact Author)

Mitchell Hamline School of Law ( email )

875 Summit Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105-3076
United States

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