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Review of the EPA's Economic Analysis of Final Water Quality Standards for Nutrients for Lakes and Flowing Waters in Florida

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The Environmental Protection Agency's estimate of the costs associated with implementing numeric nutrient criteria in Florida's waterways was significantly lower than many stakeholders expected. This discrepancy was due, in part, to the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency's analysis considered only the incremental cost of reducing nutrients in waters it considered "newly impaired" as a result of the new criteria-not the total cost of improving water quality in Florida. The incremental approach is appropriate for this type of assessment, but the Environmental Protection Agency's cost analysis would have been more accurate if it better described the differences between the new numeric criteria rule and the narrative rule it would replace, and how the differences affect the costs of implementing nutrient reductions over time, instead of at a fixed time point. Such an analysis would have more accurately described which pollutant sources, for example municipal wastewater treatment plants or agricultural operations, would bear the costs over time under the different rules and would have better illuminated the uncertainties in making such cost estimates.

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National Research Council. 2012. Review of the EPA's Economic Analysis of Final Water Quality Standards for Nutrients for Lakes and Flowing Waters in Florida. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/13376.

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Publication Info

142 pages | 6 x 9
ISBNs:
  • Paperback: 978-0-309-25493-9
  • Ebook: 978-0-309-25496-0
DOI: https://doi.org/10.17226/13376
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