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Private-Sector Cleanup Expenditures and Transaction Costs at 18 Superfund Sites (1993)

Paper Number: EE-0265

Document Date: 01/01/1993

Author(s):  Dixon, Lloyd S.; Drezner, Deborah; Hammitt, James K.

Subject Area(s): Economic Analysis, Financing Pollution Control, Hazardous Waste, Superfund, Transaction Costs

Keywords: Economic Analysis, Financing Pollution Control, Hazardous Waste, Superfund, Transaction Costs


Congress took a novel approach to cleaning up the nation's worst inactive hazardous waste sites when it enacted the Superfund program in 1980. Instead of funding the cleanups with public moneys, it adopted a liability-based program. The program allows the government either to clean up a site and recover its cost from the potentially responsible parties (PRPs) or to require the PRPs to undertake the cleanup themselves. There is a great concern that the liability approach is generating more litigation than cleanup. However, there is little empirical evidence to substantiate the concern. The purpose of this study is to provide estimates of the magnitude of private-sector expenditures and transaction-cost share at Superfund sites.

This report is part of the  Environmental Economics Research Inventory.

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