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Redesign of the Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures (PACE) Survey: Findings and Recommendations from Pretest and Follow-up; and MA-200 Survey and Instructions (2006)

Paper Number: EE-0498, MA-200 and MA-200-Instructions

Document Date: 12/01/2006

Author(s): Gallaher, Michael P., Murray, Brian C., Nicholson, Rebecca L., Ross, Martin T.

Subject Area(s):  Economic Analysis, Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures, Pollution Controls

Keywords:  Economic Analysis, Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures, Pollution Controls


The Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures (PACE) survey is the only comprehensive source of pollution abatement costs and expenditures related to environmental protection in the United States. The PACE survey collects facility-level data on pollution abatement capital expenditures and operating costs in the manufacturing industry.1 The survey captures pollution abatement costs associated with compliance with local, state, and federal regulations and voluntary or market-driven pollution abatement activities. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses these data to calculate the costs of their regulations (e.g., 1990 Cost of Clean Environment, Annual Office of Management and Budget Reports to Congress on Costs and Benefits of Federal Regulation (Thompson Report), Section 812 Clean Air Retrospective Cost Analysis). Trade associations, manufacturers, marketing and research companies, university researchers, financial and environmental institutions, other federal agencies, state and local governments, and environmental reporters also use PACE data. For example, trade associations use the PACE data to track the cost of complying with environmental regulations to their members while university researchers use the data to examine the impact of regulations on international competitiveness, productivity, and job growth in the manufacturing sector.

Overview of the PACE Survey Redesign Process

The report's sections discuss the process undertaken to redesign the PACE survey and the findings and recommendations resulting from these changes. The redesign process had two major phases.

  • Phase 1: Several activities occurred within phase 1. First, an expert panel and EPA workgroup provided comments and feedback on a preliminary draft of the PACE survey instrument. Four on-site interviews were also conducted with facilities to gain insights into the type of environmental cost information that facilities track and have available for calculating costs associated with pollution abatement. This was followed by a total of nine one-on-one interviews with facilities and industry trade associations to obtain comments on a draft survey instrument.
  • Phase 2: Each comment from phase 1 was evaluated by the expert panel and EPA staff, and when considered appropriate, integrated into the 2004 PACE pretest and pilot survey. This report focuses on the 2004 PACE survey pretest, which included eighteen on-site follow-up visits conducted to discuss the survey instrument and guidance document and to collect information to develop independent engineering cost estimates. The pilot test of the 2004 PACE survey was conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and is only briefly discussed in this report.

In Section 2 we discuss these two phases in more detail. In section 3 we discuss the results of the pretest of 2004 PACE survey. Section 4 discusses the general comments provided by respondents on the survey instrument and guidance document. The comparison of the reported costs to the independent engineering cost estimates are presented in Section 5, followed by a summary of findings in Section 6. Section 7 discusses the modifications to the 2005 PACE survey and guidance document.

This paper is part of the  Environmental Economics Research Inventory.

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  • Redesign of the Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures (PACE) Survey: Findings and Recommendations from the Pretest and Follow-up Visits (2006) (PDF)(135 pp, 1 MB, 12/01/2006, EE-0498)
    The first phase in redesigning the survey included three key activities: 1) consultation with an expert panel, 2) on-site visits with four facilities; and 3) one-on-one interviews with a total of nine facilities and trade associations. The second phase included a pretest and pilot of the 2004 PACE survey form and guidance document. Eighteen facilities participated in the pretest conducted by RTI and approximately 2,000 facilities received the pilot survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Census.
  • ma-200_form (PDF)(7 pp, 224 K, 4/30/2005)
    Copy of the 2005 Survey of Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures (PACE) survey administered by the US Census Bureau
  • ma-200_instructions (PDF)(14 pp, 200 K, 03/22/2006)
    2005 Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures (PACE) Survey Guidelines, prepared by US Census Bureau