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Costs for changing pollution criteria in Florida waters likely to exceed EPA estimates
Date:3/6/2012

orida's waters.

Future cost analyses of rule changes would be improved if they explicitly described how a rule would be implemented over time and its impact on costs, the report says. If EPA had conducted such an analysis, it would have found that point sources -- such as municipal and industrial wastewater treatment facilities -- will face increased costs sooner under the numeric nutrient criteria than under the narrative process.

The report describes a more comprehensive approach for conducting these analyses and summarizes the differences between the narrative rule, numeric rule, and a proposed Florida rule that incorporates aspects of both narrative and numeric criteria. The committee did not produce its own cost estimate for implementing numeric nutrient criteria. It also did not assess the numeric criteria themselves or address the environmental or indirect economic effects of implementing the criteria.

The committee found that discrepancies in cost estimates by EPA and other stakeholders could be traced to different assumptions about how the rules would affect actions taken during the water quality management cycle, from listing water as impaired and establishing target nutrient concentrations to determining when the criteria have been met. If assumptions can be agreed upon, the new framework for future cost analyses could narrow the discrepancies in estimates, the report says.


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Contact: Lauren Rugani
news@nas.edu
202-334-2138
National Academy of Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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