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02/21/06

NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) Contingent Valuation/Recreational Values Website Updated February 14, 2006

This web site contains a collection of information for NRCS to use for contingent valuation of recreational activities for watershed planning and other NRCS economic purposes. The Unit Day Method is the most common method used for calculating recreational benefits for NRCS usage, but it is based on 1962 data which provided an average value of $1.00 per day, +/- some quality differences. That 1962 value was indexed to the 1982 values used in P&G by CPI, and these values should be in-turn be indexed to current values by current CPI. This method can be used for insignificant recreational calculations for watershed analysis, but economists should note that the values obtained are highly conservative, averaging perhaps 20% of the current values from actual Recreational Economics studies using other methods. If the recreational benefits have any potential for affecting the selection of the NED or Recommended Plans, economists are highly advised to adopt applicable contingent valuation or travel costs methods. While the cost and time requirements of obtaining actual survey data on specific proposed NRCS projects is often prohibitive, NRCS economists are encouraged to use the benefit transfer method developed by the US Forest Service. This Benefit Transfer method was updated in October 2005, and the database was updated to 1,200 values.

* Microsoft Excel spreadsheet New Comparison Study of 1200 Recreational Studies by the Forest Service that has US and Regional Average User Day Values by type of activity (1.47 M. These values can be used for computing NED Regional Economic Benefits. It was used as the database for the 2005 study, Updated Outdoor Recreation Use Values on National Forests and Other Public Lands.
* Microsoft Excel spreadsheet A spreadsheet for calculating the updated points for the unit day values. (18.5 K
* Benefits Transfer and Valuation Databases: Are We Heading in the Right Direction? a workshop jointly sponsored by the U.S. EPA's National Center for Environmental Economics and Environment Canada.
* Water Quality Economic and Trout Fishing Evaluation for Braddock Run, Maryland. A study by John, Long, NRCS, using Willingness to Pay and Travel Cost Estimates to estimate benefits for a PL-566 project.
* Older Comparison Study of 700 Recreational Studies by the Forest Service that has US and Regional Average User Day Values by type of activity (0.99 M. These values can be used for computing NED Regional Economic Benefits. It was used as the database for the 2001 study, Benefit Transfer of Outdoor Recreation Use Values: a Technical Document Supporting the Forest Service Strategic Plan (2000 Revision). General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-72. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 59p.
* Social and Economic Values in Natural Resource Planning, USFS
* The 2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation has surveyed usage and expenditures for these activities. This is the most common basis for computing RED regional sales based on recreation.
* A Bibliography Related to Recreation Fees on Public Land compiled by Daniel W. McCollum and Annette Puttkammer, USFS
* Southwick Associates have made information on the economic contributions of hunting on a state-by-state basis available free. The research is based on expenditure data from USFWS National Survey (see above). Go to the "Free Reports" section and select the 2001 report titled "U.S. - 2001 Economic Impacts of Hunting". They continually have additional tables and reports coming out.
* http://www.ecosystemvaluation.org/, Essentials of Ecosystem Valuation
* Economic Valuation of Natural Resources: A Guidebook for Coastal Resources Policymakers

Lakeshore Property Values and Water Quality:

* Evidence from property sales in the Mississippi Headwaters Region (1.68 M
* Microsoft Excel spreadsheet A spreadsheet for calculating the updated points for the unit day values. (18.5 K
* These calculations are based on Principles and Guidelines for Water Resource Projects, Appendix 3 to Section Vlll, Pages 83-85. (1.18 M
* For reference usage, also note the NRCS National Watershed Manual, and the NRCS National Economic Handbooks:
Part 611 NRCS National Water Resources Handbook for Economics (855 K
Part 612 NRCS National Resource Economics Handbook, Water Quality (4.48 M

The US Army Corps of Engineers has a number of survey studies of actual camper, boater, hunter, and visitor expenditures at and around parks, campgrounds, and lakes.
Corps recreation expenditures studies (survey results):
Upper Mississippi River System Visitors Spending, List of Tables

Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
Economic Impacts of Recreation on the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS)
Economic Impact Analysis as a Tool in Recreation Program Evaluation

Other recreation expenditure related websites

1996 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation
In South Florida, the Environment is the Economy
Nature-Oriented Visitors and Their Expenditures: Upper San Pedro River Basin

Use of IMPLAN to Access Economic Impacts of Recreation and Tourism: Chronology and Trends, by Dennis B. Propst

Estimating National Park Visitor Spending and Economic Impacts; The MGM2 Model

U.S. Department of Agriculture NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) Contingent Valuation/Recreational Values Website
http://www.economics.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/recreate/
http://www.economics.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/recreate/

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Regulation, Markets, and Choice in Metropolitan Land Use: A Resources For the Future (RFF) First Wednesday Seminar

Wednesday, March 1, 2006, 12:45 - 2 p.m.
RFF Conference Center
1616 P Street NW
Washington, DC

Smart growth, sprawl, and zoning are contentious, headline-making concerns in Washington, DC, and many other metropolitan areas. Is single-family residential zoning the outcome of, or a constraint on, a free market? Is sprawl undesirable? What role have development rights and other market-like approaches played in balancing land use and preservation - and are they panaceas for the future? Should land use be an exclusively local management issue? Our panelists will address the impacts of land use decisions, describe current research and policy recommendations, and offer perspectives on the future of land planning.

Moderator:

Virginia McConnell, Senior Fellow, RFF, and Professor of Economics, University of Maryland - Baltimore County

Panelists:

Parris Glendening, Director of the Smart Growth Leadership Institute and former Governor of the State of Maryland

Gerrit Knaap, Executive Director and Professor, National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education

Jonathan Levine, Urban and Regional Planning Program Chair and Associate Professor, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan

Margaret Walls, Resident Scholar, RFF

The seminar will run from 12:45 until 2 p.m. A light buffet lunch will be served beginning at 12:30 p.m. To attend this luncheon event, please RSVP to Michele Leahy at 202-328-5078 or e-mail
Resources For the Future (RFF) www.rff.org
http://www.rff.org/rff/Events/index.cfm

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Former hog farm is big mess for state: Colorado is preparing legal action against company's owner

What was once Colorado's largest hog farm is raising a new stink from regulators demanding that the company clean up heavily contaminated soil and water and pay overdue leases on thousands of acres of state land.

Although National Hog Farms closed its doors six years ago, much of the site remains an abandoned mess that regulators say will cost well over $1 million to restore.

A veritable meat and manure factory, the operation sprawled over 23,000 acres east of Greeley, fattening as many as 150,000 hogs wedged inside jammed production buildings and saturating sandy grasslands with a river of swine waste gunned from industrial sprinklers.

Now, state officials are preparing legal action against the company's stockholder, alleging a litany of unaddressed environmental violations and the firm's refusal to pay more than $300,000 owed for leasing more than 5,000 state-owned acres - public land home to some of the worst contamination in the entire site.


...
By Todd Hartman
FOR FULL STORY GO TO:
http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_4483498,00.html
Rocky Mountain News www.rockymountainnews.com

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02/20/06

Land buyers face more EPA rules: Environmental site assessments get more complex Nov. 1

Anyone looking to purchase commercial property later this year should expect to spend more time and money on environmental studies, thanks to new federal regulations.

The rules, issued last year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and set to take effect Nov. 1, tighten the rules for environmental site assessments. If they follow the EPA rules, land buyers are insulated from potential future litigation and government penalties.

They require more extensive research into a property's previous uses, more interviews with previous property owners and set minimum qualifications for environmental professionals that perform the assessments. The new rules require environmental professionals to have an engineer's or geologist's license and three years' experience in the field.

Mary Guinee, due diligence manager for Robinson-based Civil and Environmental Consultants Inc., said the new requirements could have major impacts, possibly doubling the cost and doubling the time it takes to complete environmental studies. She's not sure what the impact will be on environmental consulting firms.

Harvey Kronzek, vice president in charge of commercial real estate at Downtown-based Dollar Bank FSB, said he hasn't yet decided whether he'll require borrowers to go through all appropriate inquiries or the existing standard.

"I've gotten quotes all over the board on additional cost and time," Kronzek said. "I don't think everyone fully understands the amount of work it's going to take."

Other environmental consultants also are trying to figure out what to do about the "all appropriate inquiries" standard.

Mark Urbassik, principal of Duquesne-based environmental consulting firm KU Resources Inc., said he doubted the price would double but could increase by up to $500. And the extra work that's required would take more time, but not a major change for a process that typically takes three or four weeks, he said.

"In the grand context of three to four weeks, finding a few more hours here and there to discuss data gaps doesn't really extend that," Urbassik said. "It's not going to be a two-month process. The market won't bear it."

The new regulations also require environmental consultants to write their professional opinions on what cleanup needs to be done based on results of their work.


...
by Robert Sandler
FOR FULL STORY GO TO:
http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/stories/2006/02/20/story6.html?from_rss=1
Pittsburgh Business Times www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh

From the February 17, 2006 print edition

China faces uphill battle to turn its growth Green

There are days in Beijing the smog is so thick residents can stare straight at the sun.

Residents of the 2008 Olympic Games host city watch the air quality index like they do the weather forecast.

Some Chinese cities may dazzle with gleaming skyscrapers and some rural backwaters have been transformed into industrial hubs, but more than two decades of 9.5 percent annual growth have come at a cost.

Now the country is trying to calculate exactly what price it is paying for choking smog, poisoned rivers and toxic waste, floating the concept of a "Green
GDP" index likely to be debated at the annual parliament session that convenes on March 5.

"Green GDP deducts ecological and environmental losses. It is able to more fully test and measure the quality of economic development and avoid false achievements," Pan Yue, deputy chief of China's environment body and its most outspoken green crusader, said in an interview with local media.

It's an idea that fits with the model of development that the leadership under President
Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao has been trying to project, one of tempering the pace of economic growth with a focus on balanced growth.

The changes are likely to be tough to implement. Local leaders are accustomed to being judged on growth above all else and would be fearful that stricter environmental controls would impact their bottom line.


...
But with China home to 20 of the world's 30 most smog-choked cities, with some 400,000 premature deaths a year linked to air pollution and with degradation a frequent cause of riots, the need to transform near-daily pledges to clean up the environment into action is becoming ever more acute.

"Estimates maintain that 7 percent annual growth is required to preserve social stability. Yet the costs of pollution are already taxing the economy between 8 and 12 percent of GDP per year," Nathan Nankivell, a researcher at Canada's Department of National Defense, wrote in a recent report.

POLLUTION RIOTS

In the Zhejiang town of Xinchang, it took a riot to shut down a local factory that had been dumping its waste into the river. The factory may have provided revenue to local authorities, but the question for residents was at what cost.

"The situation has been better since the protest but of course there has still been a negative impact on us. Just look at the crops," said one resident surnamed Song, gesturing toward the poisoned fields from the window of her small shop.

The Xinchang protest was one of three riots in Zhejiang alone last year over pollution.

Across the country, China has earmarked $3.3 billion to clean up the Songhua River in the northeast, poisoned last November after an explosion at a chemical plant caused a toxic spill that contaminated drinking water supplies for millions.

Economists vary on just how much environmental woes are costing. The World Bank estimates air and water pollution cost China about 8 percent of GDP.

But different provinces may have vastly different costs. For example, in Shanxi -- China's top coal-producing province -- if environmental degradation and pollution were incorporated into GDP calculations, they would negate all growth for the past decade, a Deutsche Bank report cites officials there as saying.


...
By Lindsay Beck
FOR FULL STORY GO TO:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060221/sc_nm/environment_china_parliament_dc_1
Reuters via Yahoo News http://news.yahoo.com

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Simulating a combination of feebates and scrappage incentives to reduce automobile emissions

This article explains a computer simulation analysis of financial incentives to promote the sale and use of cleaner vehicles. The analysis focuses first on feebates, a combination of fees and rebates to promote the sale of cleaner new vehicles. The analysis assumes that buyers of new cars may chose between vehicles fueled by gasoline, alcohol, electricity and compressed natural gas. The market shares for new car sales are based on a discrete-choice model estimated from a stated preference survey in California. The analysis is conducted for a hypothetical air shed to illustrate the feasibility of the simulation method. The simulation analysis shows that feebates can lead to important reductions in hydrocarbon emissions, but the reductions will appear gradually as the newer vehicles displace the older vehicles in the air shed. The analysis then focuses on the emissions reduction that could be achieved by scrappage payments to induce early retirement of older cars. The analysis shows that scrappage payments can lead to large, immediate reduction in emissions. The article concludes with a simulation analysis of a combination of scrappage payments and feebates to achieve both immediate and sustained reductions in vehicle emissions. The simulations demonstrate that the emissions reductions could be achieved with rebates and scrappage payments drawn from a single fund financed by the fees imposed on the sale of new cars with high emissions.

by Todd BenDor 1 and Andrew Ford 2
1. Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL 61820, USA; Tel.: +1 509 335 7846; fax: +1 509 335 7636.
2. Program in Environmental Science and Regional Planning, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-4430, USA

Energy via Elsevier Science Direct www.ScienceDirect.com
Volume 31, Issues 8-9, July 2006, pages 1197-1214
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2005.05.024
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V2S-4GNTFHP-1&_coverDate=07%2F31%2F2006&_alid=368499816&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_qd=1&_cdi=5710&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=ad0844ba72f0ac00e29c07e4ea4a2601

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Valuing Consumer Products by the Time Spent Using Them: An Application to the Internet

For some goods, the main cost of buying the product is not the price but rather the time it takes to use them. Only about 0.2% of consumer spending in the U.S., for example, went for Internet access in 2004 yet time use data indicates that people spend around 10% of their entire leisure time going online. For such goods, estimating price elasticities with expenditure data can be difficult, and, therefore, estimated welfare gains highly uncertain. We show that for time-intensive goods like the Internet, a simple model in which both expenditure and time contribute to consumption can be used to estimate the consumer gains from a good using just the data on time use and the opportunity cost of people's time (i.e., the wage). The theory predicts that higher wage internet subscribers should spend less time online (for non-work reasons) and the degree to which that is true identifies the elasticity of demand. Based on expenditure and time use data and our elasticity estimate, we calculate that consumer surplus from the Internet may be around 2% of full-income, or several thousand dollars per user. This is an order of magnitude larger than what one obtains from a back-of-the-envelope calculation using data from expenditures.

by Austan Goolsbee and Peter J. Klenow
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) www.NBER.org
Working Paper No. 11995; Issued in February 2006

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01:38:00 pm, Categories: Air, Legal, U.K., Companies, Newspaper/Mag/TV/Media Story, Contamination Cost, 126 words   English (US)

Radioactive lorry leak firm fined

An atomic energy firm responsible for a radioactive leak from a lorry has been fined £250,000.

The vehicle, which travelled from Yorkshire to the Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria, leaked radiation for 130 miles, a court heard.

Leeds Crown Court was told it was "pure good fortune" no one was dangerously exposed to the radiation in March 2002.

AEA Technology admitted health and safety breaches and was ordered to pay £151,000 costs.

The Oxfordshire-based company was transporting part of a piece of cancer treatment equipment, which had been decommissioned at Cookridge Hospital in Leeds, to the Sellafield complex.

But a "plug" was left off a specially-built 2.5 tonne container.

FOR FULL STORY GO TO:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/4732592.stm
BBC News http://news.bbc.co.uk

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Multi-criteria evaluation of cooking devices with special reference to utility of parabolic solar cooker (PSC) in India

Multi-criteria decision making is an emerging technique for evaluation and policy formulation for renewable energy technology promotion. In this paper, the case of the parabolic solar cooker (PSC), which is a relatively recent innovation, is evaluated with respect to eight prevalent domestic cooking devices in India. Thirty different criteria categorized under technical, economic, environmental, social, behavioral and commercial aspects are considered for the evaluation based on the additive Multi Attribute Utility Theory (MAUT) model. A survey of various decision making groups and user preferences for domestic cooking devices in India is used to formulate the evaluation matrix. Expert opinion is collected to devise the utility functions. On the basis of user preferences and expert opinion, it is found that the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) stove has the highest utility, followed by the kerosene stove, solar box cooker (SBC) and PSC, respectively. Sensitivity analyses are carried out to identify the areas of improvement for the widespread use of PSC.

Keywords: Parabolic solar cookers; Utility assessment; Scaling constants; Sensitivity analyses

by S.D. Pohekar 1 and M. Ramachandran 2
1. Center for Renewable Energy and Environment Development (CREED), Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani 333 031, India Tel.: +91 1596 245783; fax: +91 1596 244183.
2. BITS, Pilani-Dubai Campus, P.O. Box 500022, Block No 11, Knowledge Village, Dubai, UAE

Energy via Elsevier Science Direct www.ScienceDirect.com
Volume 31, Issues 8-9, July 2006, pages 1215-1227
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2005.04.012
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V2S-4GFCPP6-4&_coverDate=07%2F31%2F2006&_alid=368449369&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_qd=1&_cdi=5710&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=da459c9b19cb0f19c3e9057caf683367

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'Open skies' pact limits green efforts

A draft treaty between the United States and the European Union is to curb national powers to impose environmental taxes or restrictions on aviation.

According to a draft obtained by Britain's Guardian newspaper, the "open skies" treaty will require European countries and the United States to reach agreement before implementing measures to reduce noise or pollution from airlines.

The news has enraged environmental activists, who say the rapid growth of airline travel is one of the key contributing factors in global warming. Aviation emissions rose by 12 percent in 2005 and now account for the fastest growing share of Britain's total emissions, currently 11 percent. Some campaigners and politicians, including French President Jacques Chirac, have proposed a levy on airline tickets or taxes on aviation fuel. The draft pact would render these impossible without trans-Atlantic agreement.

Article 14 of the draft pact prohibits the unilateral implementation of any environmental measures which could have "possible adverse effects" on the free traffic of aircraft. It states signatories to the treaty must "recognize that the costs and benefits of measures to protect the environment must be carefully weighed." Any disagreement would be referred to arbitration.

The newspaper quoted industry sources as saying U.S. negotiators insisted on the inclusion of the clause in the treaty, which is intended to liberalize aviation. The U.S. administration is resistant to taxes on aviation fuel or an emissions-trading scheme which, it says, would force airlines out of business and lead to job losses.


...
However no single country will have a veto on the treaty, which will be subject to an EU vote requiring 65 percent of member states to approve it. But a senior EU official stressed that the document was a draft and subject to change.

FOR FULL STORY GO TO:
http://www.upi.com/Energy/view.php?StoryID=20060220-075056-1147r
UPI www.upi.com

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U.S. EPA NCER/NCEE Workshop: Morbidity and Mortality: How Do We Value the Risk of Illness and Death?

The purpose of this workshop is to bring together STAR (Science to Achieve Results) grantees and other researchers to present work on valuing morbidity and mortality endpoints for environmental policy.

National Transportation Safety Board (NTS
429 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20594
April 10 – 12, 2006

Meeting Contact Information: William Wheeler,
Registration Contact Information: Angela Hays,

AGENDA

Monday, April 10, 2006
8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Registration
8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. Introductory Remarks
Speaker: TBD, U.S. EPA
Introduction by: William Wheeler, U.S. EPA, National Center for Environmental Research
8:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Session I: Air Pollution
Session Moderator: TBD, U.S. EPA
8:45 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Valuing Reduced Asthma Morbidity in Children
Michael Hanemann, University of California–Berkeley, and
Sylvia Brandt, University of Massachusetts–Amherst
9:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. The Economics of Environmental Vulnerability: Epidemiology, Household Status, and Air Pollution
V. Kerry Smith, North Carolina State University; Mary F. Evans, University of Tennessee–Knoxville; and Christine Poulos, Research Triangle Institute

9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Break

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Preliminary Results From a Daily, Time-Series Study of Air Pollution and Asthma in the San Francisco Bay Area
Charles Griffiths and Nathalie Simon, U.S. EPA, National Center for Environmental Economics
10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Discussant: TBD
10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Discussant: TBD
11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Questions and Discussion

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch (On Your Own) and Keynote Address (To Begin at 12:30 p.m.)
Title
TBD
Introduction by: TBD, U.S. EPA

1:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Session II: Morbidity and Mortality
Session Moderator: TBD, U.S. EPA
1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. IOM and Cost Effectiveness
TBD, U.S. EPA, National Center for Environmental Economics
1:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. A Consistent Framework for Valuing Latent Morbidity and Mortality Risks to Adults and Children
Mark Dickie and Shelby Gerking, University of Central Florida
1:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Not All Deaths Are Created Equal: Understanding Individual Preferences for Reductions in Morbidity–Mortality Events
J.R. DeShazo, University of California–Los Angeles, and
Trudy Cameron, Oregon State University
2:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Eliciting Risk Tradeoffs for Valuing Fatal Cancer Risks
Chris Dockins, U.S. EPA National Center for Environmental Economics; George Van Houtven, Research Triangle Institute;
and Melonie Sullivan, Institute for Family Centered Services
2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Discussant: Kelly Maguire, U.S. EPA National Center for Environmental Economics
3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Discussant: TBD
3:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Questions and Discussion

3:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Break

4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Session III: Panel on Web Surveys
Session Moderator: TBD, U.S. EPA
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Panel Participants:
J.R. DeShazo, University of California–Los Angeles
Mark Dickie, University of Central Florida
Alan Krupnick, Resources for the Future
Nathalie Simon, U.S. EPA, National Center for Environmental Economics
5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Questions and Discussion

5:30 p.m. Adjourn
Evening Option: Informal Dinner

Sign up by 12:00 noon at the registration table.
(Note: Attendees are responsible for their own tabs.)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006
8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Registration
8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. ORD Activities With the National Children’s Study and National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
TBD, U.S. EPA, Office of Research and Development, National Center for Environmental Research
8:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Session IV: Pesticides and Toxics
Session Moderator: TBD, U.S. EPA
8:45 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Contingent Valuation for Ecological and Noncancer Effects With an Integrated Human Health and Ecological Risk Framework
James K. Hammitt and Katherine Von Stackelberg, Harvard University
9:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Family Decision Making and the Value of Preventing Childhood Developmental Impairment
Alan Krupnick and Sandra Hoffmann, Resources for the Future; Wiktor Adamowicz, University of Alberta; and Ann Bostrom, Georgia Institute of Technology

9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Break

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Value of Reducing Children’s Mortality Risk: Effects of Latency and Disease Type
James Hammitt and Kevin Haninger, Harvard University
10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Discussant: TBD
10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Discussant: TBD
11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Questions and Discussion

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Lunch (On Your Own)

12:45 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. Session V: Age and VSL
Session Moderator: TBD, U.S. EPA
12:45 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Update on VSL
Chris Dockins, Kelly Maguire, Nathalie Simon, U.S. EPA, National Center for Environmental Economics
1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. TBD
1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. TBD
2:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Discussant: TBD
2:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Discussant: TBD
2:30 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. Questions and Discussion

2:55 p.m. – 3:05 p.m. Break

3:05 p.m. – 5:05 p.m. Session VI: Drinking Water
Session Moderator: TBD, U.S. EPA
3:05 p.m. – 3:20 p.m. Combining Psychological and Economic Methods To Improve Understanding of Factors Determining Adults’ Valuation of Children’s Health
Cheryl Asmus, Paul Bell, and John Loomis, Colorado State University
3:20 p.m. – 3:35 p.m. Morbidity and Mortality Risk From Arsenic in Private Wells and Public Drinking Water Supplies
Douglass Shaw, Texas A&M University; Paul Jakus, Utah State University; Klaus Moeltner and Mark Walker, University of Nevada–Reno; and Mary Riddel, University of Nevada–Las Vegas
3:35 p.m. – 4:05 p.m. TBD
4:05 p.m. – 4:20 p.m. Discussant: TBD
4:20 p.m. – 4:35 p.m. Discussant: TBD
4:35 p.m. – 5:05 p.m. Questions and Discussion

5:05 p.m. Adjourn
Evening Option: Informal Dinner:

Sign up by 12:00 noon at the registration table.
(Note: Attendees are responsible for their own tabs.)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006
8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Registration
8:30 a.m. – 8:40 a.m. Introduction
Introduction by: TBD, U.S. EPA
8:40 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Session VII: Recent Research of J.R. DeShazo and Trudy Cameron
Session Moderator: Will Wheeler, U.S. EPA, Office of Research and Development, National Center for Environmental Research
8:40 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Title TBD
J.R. DeShazo, University of California–Los Angeles, and Trudy Cameron, Oregon State University
10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Questions and Discussion
11:00 a.m. – 11:25 a.m. Final Remarks
11:25 a.m. Adjourn

http://www.scgcorp.com/morbidity/index.asp

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01:34:38 am, Categories: General, Air, U.S., Academic Study/Journal Article, Regulatory Analysis, 266 words   English (US)

Regulating Advertisements: The Case of Smoking Cessation Products

In this paper we investigate how direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of pharmaceutical products in affected by regulations of the Food and Drug Administration and by market conditions. We focus on a relatively under-studied segment of the pharmaceutical market -- the market for smoking cessation products. Because of their proven effectiveness, these products could be the key to meeting public health goals to reduce smoking. However, in many ways, smoking cessation products have been more heavily regulated than cigarettes. Our empirical analysis uses data on advertising expenditures and data from an archive of print advertisements. The archive includes all smoking cessation product advertisements that appeared in over 13,000 issues of 28 magazines between January 1985 and May 2002. Our study period begins shortly atfer the first nicotine replacement product was introduced, and covers the evolution of the market as new products are introduced while some of the older products move from prescription to over-the-counter (OTC) status. OTC status eases the disclosure requirements imposed on advertisements of prescription pharmaceuticals, substantially reducing the costs of a print advertisement. Our results suggest that OTC status is associated with an increase in advertising expenditures and the number and pages of magazine advertisements. A current proposal to reduce disclosure requirements on all DTC advertisements of prescription drugs could have similar effects. Our results also suggest that advertising increase with the introduction of new products and with market competition.

Regulating Advertisements: The Case of Smoking Cessation Products

by Rosemary J. Avery, Donald S. Kenkel, Dean R. Lillard, Alan D. Mathios

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) www.nber.org
Working Paper No. 12001; February 2006
http://papers.nber.org/papers/w12001

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12:43:28 am, Categories: General, Energy, Academic Study/Journal Article, 121 words   English (US)

Equilibrium Exhaustible Resource Price Dynamics

We develop equilibrium models of an exhaustible resource market where both prices and extraction choices are determined endogenously. Our analysis highlights a role for adjustment costs in generating price dynamics that are consistent with observed oil and gas forward prices as well as with the two-factor prices processes that were calibrated in Schwartz and Smith (2000). Stochastic volatility aries in our two-factor model as a natural consequence of production for oil and natural gas prices. Differences between the endogenous price processes considered in earlier papers can generate significant differences in both financial and real option values.

by Murray Carlson, Zeigham Khoker, Sheridan Titman

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) www.NBER.org
Working Paper No. 12000; February 2006
http://papers.nber.org/papers/w12000

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12:00:14 am, Categories: Health, U.S., Academic Study/Journal Article, Research Institute/NonProf, 152 words   English (US)

Short, Medium, and Long Term Consequences of Poor Infant Health: An Analysis using Siblings and Twins

Phil Oreopoulos, Mark Stabile, Randy Walld, Leslie Roos use administrative data on a sample of births between 1978 and 1985 to investigate the short, medium and long-term consequences of poor infant health. Our findings offer several advances to the existing literature on the effects of early infant health on subsequent health, education, and labor force attachment. First, they use a large sample of both siblings and twins, second we use a variety of measures of infant health, and finally we track children through their schooling years and into the labor force. Their findings suggest that poor infant health is a strong predictor of educational and labor force outcomes. In particular, infant health is found to predict both high school completion and social assistance (welfare) take-up and length.

by Phil Oreopoulos, Mark Stabile, Randy Walld, Leslie Roos
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) www.NBER.org
Working Paper No. 11998
http://papers.nber.org/papers/w11998

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Park cleanup project extended: More contaminated soil means the Flat Branch project won’t be completed until March

Columbia residents may have to put up with the smell of oil coming from what will eventually be an extension of Flat Branch Park for a while longer.

Removing contaminated soil to the south of the existing park was supposed to be finished by now, but because workers continue to find new pockets of dirt contaminated with oil, it may be the second week of March before work is completed. The cleanup began in January and was expected to be done by mid-February.

Park Services Manager Mike Griggs told the Parks and Recreation Commission last week that cleanup at the site, located along Flat Branch Creek between Locust and Elm Streets, will require 1½ times more work than previously predicted. The additional work will add $40,000 to $50,000 to the project’s budget, Griggs said.

Griggs predicted the entire cleanup will cost $275,000 to $300,000, meaning the $200,000 the city received from an Environmental Protection Agency grant and $40,000 from the Parks Department budget will not be enough.

In order to meet the additional costs, money is now being taken out of the development fund for the second phase of the park. However, Griggs doesn’t think this will have a detrimental effect on the future park.

“We have $898,789 total for both the cleanup and development ... and a contingency amount of approximately $70,000,” Griggs said.

He said he believes the department can save money by adjusting its plans to install several concrete retaining walls near the bridges by Locust and Elm streets. By using boulders instead, the department could trim its costs and make something that would be more aesthetically pleasing, Griggs said.

By MEGAN TATE
FOR FULL STORY GO TO
http://www.columbiamissourian.com/news/story.php?ID=18473
Columbia Missourian www.columbiamissourian.com

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02/19/06

09:53:45 pm, Categories: Energy, U.S., Academic Study/Journal Article, Savings, Costs and Benefits, 278 words   English (US)

Feasibility study of forest residue use as fuel through co-firing with pellet

Co-firing is a useful technology for reclaiming waste biomass as fuel. This article studies the use of three different forest residues (Eucalyptus, pine and pine bark) with pellet based on a mixture of fuels prior to combustion. Several combustion configurations, such as the basic configuration (only preheated primary air supply) and other especially developed configurations, such as secondary air and gas recirculation, are studied and optimized. Due to feeding problems, a co-firing feeding hopper was specially developed and honed in order to assure a precise feeding rate of different fuel materials. The experimental results suggest that the pine bark has the best feed performance. Overall, a lower efficiency was achieved compared with pellet-only combustion. Co-firing of these blends is financially viable due to the lower price of the treated pine bark. High percentages of pine bark (50%) reduce efficiency significantly. This is improved with secondary air and recirculation. Pine bark of around 25% is the most suitable configuration.

Keywords: Pellets; Feeding systems; Co-firing; Biomass

by E. Granada 1, G. Lareo 1, J.L. Míguez 1, J. Moran 1, J. Porteiro 1 and L. Ortiz 2
1. E.T.S. Ingenieros Industriales, Vigo University, Lagoas-Marcosende s/n, 36200-Vigo, Spain
2. E.U. Ingeniería Técnica Forestal, Campus A Xunqueira s/n, 36005-Pontevedra, Spain

Biomass and Bioenergy via Elsevier Science Direct www.ScienceDirect.com
Volume 30, Issue 3, March 2006, pages 238-246
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2005.11.013
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V22-4J0XV75-2&_coverDate=03%2F31%2F2006&_alid=368211667&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_qd=1&_cdi=5690&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=c9712c44569694355d31eab2f197e4dd

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Boca man hit with $2 million in EPA restitution costs and fines

A Boca Raton man must pay more than $2 million in fines and restitution, together with two affiliated companies, for mishandling hazardous wastes in Pottstown, PA., and in Rotterdam, the Netherlands between 1998 and 2000, according to a joint announcement by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the US Attorney's Office in Philadelphia.

Joel D. Udell, 65, a current Boca Raton resident, and two affiliated businesses, Pyramid Chemical Sales Co. and Nittany Warehouse LP, were sentenced Feb. 14, the EPA said.

In addition, the sentence requires Udell to spend six months in home confinement in Montgomery County, PA under electronic monitoring and perform 500 hours of community service in Pottstown.

The defendants had pleaded guilty previously to storing hazardous waste without a permit at the former Nittany Warehouse in Pottstown, from May 1998 to early 2001. The charges also said that Udell exported "hazardous waste outside the United States without consent of the receiving country" on various dates in 2000, and transported hazardous waste without manifests and to unpermitted facilities in 2000.

Starting in the mid-1980s, the EPA said Udell used a warehouse to store chemicals, and "maintained the warehouse in deplorable condition."

The EPA said "thousands of containers of chemicals (were kept) throughout the warehouse, some stacked on top of each other, with incompatible chemicals, including flammable and poisonous chemicals, stored together. Some of the containers were rusted and corroded metal drums, and others were damaged, crushed or torn. Most of the chemicals were old and unusable; many could not even be identified."

The sentences imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Bruce W.
Kauffman included:

* Udell and his firms were found liable to pay $1,243.072.65 to the Dutch government, $409,639.97 to Europe Container Terminals BV, and $150,000 to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These payments must be made over a five-year period of probation imposed on all the defendants, the EPA said.

* Udell was also fined $100,000 and the two companies each received $50,000 fines.

* Udell must also pay a $1,500 special assessment and the companies each must pay a $6,000 special assessment.

by John Johnston
FOR FULL STORY GO TO:
http://www.bocanews.com/index.php?src=news&prid=14279&category=Local%20News
Boca Raton News www.bocanews.com

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05:48:08 am, Categories: Energy, U.S., Companies, Newspaper/Mag/TV/Media Story, Costs and Benefits, 432 words   English (US)

Interest in diesel high as gas costs accelerate

For years, Sylver Schmid has marveled at the gas mileage of his 1986 Volkswagen Jetta, listed at 35 to 40 miles per gallon.

He gets about about 50 miles for every gallon, he said.

The Jetta’s odometer just turned 550,000 miles, said Schmid, of Muskingum County, who will be 84 in April. "With the mileage I’m getting, I’d be a fool to get rid of it."

With unleaded regular gasoline costing more than $2 a gallon in most areas, automakers are increasing efforts to develop diesel in the United States, figuring there are more people like Schmid out there.

Every automaker is "at least looking at the possibility of adding diesels to their cars and crossovers," Anthony Pratt, senior manager for global powertrain forecasting at J.D. Power and Associates, told Automotive News recently.

But there might still be cost hurdles for consumers.

Nationally, a gallon of diesel costs about 13 percent more than a gallon of unleaded, according to AAA, but it provides 25 percent to 30 percent better fuel economy.

One drawback: Diesel usually costs more during winter months, partly because home heating oil is refined the same way, which limits diesel output, said Justin McNaull, a AAA spokesman.

For many Americans, diesel got a bad reputation in the early 1980s when diesel vehicles made by domestic automakers had mechanical problems. With the high gas prices of the Carter years a distant memory, diesel’s popularity dwindled in the U.S. market by the mid-1980s.

Honda, which employs about 13,000 in central Ohio, is among a number of automakers with plans to introduce diesel models in the United States, according to Automotive News.


...
The average diesel engine costs about $2,000 more than a gasoline engine, or about double the price. That means customers would have to pay more to buy the vehicles, he said.

"You’ll probably get 25 (percent) to 30 percent better fuel economy," he said. "But even at current diesel (engine) prices, it’s going to be a while before you get that payback."

That could take about three to five years, depending on how much a person drives, he said.

Diesel engines are better suited for drivers who cover long distances and for larger vehicles, such as the Honda Ridgeline and the Chevrolet Tahoe, he said.

The opposite is true for hybrid engines, he said.

"The value for a hybrid is city driving, stop and start," he said. "Diesels are much better at going at a constant (speed), like a diesel-engine locomotive."


...
by Paul Wilson
FOR FULL STORY GO TO
http://www.dispatch.com/business-story.php?story=dispatch/2006/02/19/20060219-G1-00.html
The Columbia Dispatch www.dispatch.com

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02/18/06

Officials say environment-friendly approach has many benefits

"Environmentally friendly" is not a phrase that typically comes to mind when people talk about hospitals, but Palomar Pomerado Health officials say they are out to change that.

"Going green" is a big part of the plans for a new medical center the public health care district is preparing to build in the Escondido Research and Technology Center.

District officials and their architects said last week that the approach means making the facility ---- scheduled for a 2007 groundbreaking and a 2010 opening ---- as energy-efficient and environmentally friendly as possible.

Designs for the new hospital therefore call for it to have such things as a special cooling system, automated light controls, and landscaped rooftops that deflect rather than absorb sunlight.

The hospital designers also say they hope to use more natural materials in the building construction, to reduce water consumption and to increase recycling, and to convince visitors to use the Sprinter train that will stop at the Escondido Transit Center.

[According to chief architect, Mike Shanahan ] "If you think of the cost of energy today, our thinking is it's never going to get any cheaper," he said. "And if it contributes to the well-being of the health care environment, we think it's the right thing to do. And we have tangible data that it lowers the cost of health care over a longer period of time."

Energy monsters

The new medical center is expected to cost $691 million and will be the cornerstone of a $1 billion expansion plan that the public health care district plans to carry out over the next 10 years.


...
"Hospitals are extremely energy-hungry," said Derek Parker, chairman of Ansehn + Allen Architects Inc. and co-founder of the Center for Healthcare Design. His Bay Area firm is helping Palomar Pomerado design the new Escondido hospital.

"They're 24/7, they have lots of equipment, lots of lighting, lots of needs for air conditioning, lots of needs for air being pushed through the building," Parker said.


...
As part of its Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design rating system, the [Green Building Council] produced a Building Green Guide.

Efforts to apply the standards to hospitals got a boost a few years ago with the debut of a modified version called "Green Guide for Healthcare."

Promoters of green health care facilities include the nonprofit Health Care Without Harm, which teamed up with the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the American Hospital Association and the American Nurses Association to form a coalition known as Hospitals for a Healthy Environment, or H2E.

09:17:55 pm, Categories: General, Academic Study/Journal Article, 252 words   English (US)

The real, real price of nonrenewable resources: copper 1870–2000

Over the past 40 years, economists have devoted considerable effort to estimating long-run trends in commodity prices. The results indicate that the real prices for many commodities have fallen, suggesting to the surprise of many that resource scarcity is declining over time. Almost all of this work, however, uses the US producer price index or other standard price deflators, which recent research shows overestimate inflation for several reasons. This article examines copper prices with adjusted deflators designed to eliminate this bias. It finds that the trend over time, which is significantly downward when no adjustment is made to the deflator, displays no tendency in either direction or is significantly upward depending on the magnitude of the deflator adjustment employed. These findings suggest that real resource prices provide less support than widely assumed for the hypothesis that resources are becoming more available or less scarce over time.

Key words: real price; nonrenewable resources; copper; depletion; minerals

Peter Svedberg and John E. Tilton
Stockholm University, Sweden
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Colorado School of Mines, USA

World Development via Elsevier Science Direct www.sciencedirect.com
Volume 34, Issue 3; March 2006, pages 501-519
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2005.07.018
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VC6-4J2M0NJ-3&_coverDate=03%2F31%2F2006&_alid=368053703&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_qd=1&_cdi=5946&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=4c4c7eff0d67a32e6081e3badfb8c38a

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02/16/06

Jury Urges Millions in Penalties for Nuclear Contamination

A federal jury has determined that cold war military contractors building nuclear bomb components near Denver contaminated lands owned by 12,000 neighbors with plutonium waste, and has recommended $554 million in payments and penalties.

Lawyers for the companies, Dow Chemical and Rockwell International, said they would appeal the decision, which was read late Tuesday.

People living near the site said the decision, after a 16-year legal battle over the environmental consequences of the plant, Rocky Flats, had vindicated their claims.


...
State Representative Wes McKinley, a Democrat, who was a foreman on the resulting grand jury investigation of Rockwell in the early 90's, said he and other jurors had found that the company had committed environmental crimes. Rockwell pleaded guilty to at least 10 counts of environmental crimes in 1992 and paid a fine of more than $18 million.

FOR FULL STORY GO TO
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/16/national/16rockyflats.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin
The New York Times www.nytimes.com

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New study evaluates environment and health benefits of REACH

In Short:

The draft REACH legislation on chemicals could save society billion of euros in water treatment and other environmental costs such as sewage treatment, according to new research for the European Commission.

Background:

Most studies on the draft REACH regulation (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) have focused on the costs to the economy of imposing stricter controls on chemical manufacturers, including on downstream users of chemicals in other industrial sectors. But few have explored the possible long-term benefits of REACH in reducing potential chemical threats to the environment as these are less easily quantifiable.

The aim of this latest study, prepared by independent researchers and published on 15 February 2006, is to assess the benefits of REACH on the environment and to humans who are exposed to chemicals via the environment. It therefore excludes direct exposure of consumers as well as worker exposure, which has already been analysed in a separate study (EurActiv, 20 Oct. 2005).

The bitter row over the expected costs of REACH was officially ended in April last year with the publication of a further impact assessment (EurActiv, 27 Apr. 2005). The report had seemingly brought an end to the dispute after some 36 other impact studies were evaluated by EU and national experts under the Dutch Presidency (EurActiv, 2 Nov. 2004).
Issues:

The long-standing dispute over the potential costs and benefits of the REACH proposal was given fresh momentum with the publication on 15 February of an impact study by independent researchers.

The study - carried out at the request of the Commission's environment directorate by research and consultancy firm DHI Water & Environment - concludes that REACH would save a minimum of €150-500 million by the year 2017, at the expected close of its 11-year roll-out period. By the year 2041, the savings would add up to €8.9 billion, mostly in areas such as "purification of drinking water, disposal of dredged sediment and incineration of sewage instead of disposal on farmlands".

The estimates were calculated using what the researchers say is the most robust available data and "well-documented cases of costs" in combination with an assumption that "the potential benefit of REACH would be only at 10%" of total costs".

Less reliable scenarios were considered as well, one based on consumers willingness to pay for cleaner drinking water or for avoiding the health effects of chemical pollution, in particular cancer. Another extrapolated findings from past experience with well-known substances which are now restricted (trichlorobenzene, nonylphenol and tetrachloroethylene), to avoid similar mistakes. But the results obtained were judged too uncertain.
Positions:

"We are pleased that another study confirms the enormous benefit that REACH would carry," the Commission environment spokesperson, Barbara Helfferich, told EurActiv. "It confirms the extended impact assessment we did back in 2003," she added. However, she cautions that no single study can give a full picture. "The baseline, she added, is still the [Commission's] extended impact assessment."

The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) said it welcomes the study's aim to assess the benefits of REACH "as it is important to establish as complete a picture as possible of the potential impacts of REACH […] before legislative decisions are made."

However, CEFIC draws attention to uncertainties in the study. "Calculations are based on historical data, which cannot be directly applied to estimate the future impact," it points out. For example, it says the study fails to take into account "the constant progress of environmental technology" or the impact of legislation currently being enforced at national or regional level.

"Even the results of what is claimed as the most robust approach therefore remain highly questionable," CEFIC claims. "The present debate on REACH has advanced well beyond comparison of costs and benefits; what is needed now are practical solutions to problems that have been identified," it says.

Environmental campaigners at Greenpeace claim that the combined cost savings in the study shows REACH "could bring extra environmental benefits worth up to €95 billion over 25 years". This sum, says Greenpeace, would "come on top of the expected €50 billion in health cost savings over 30 years identified by the Commission in 2003, when it launched the REACH proposal."

Nadia Haiama of Greenpeace European Unit said "much greater benefits would follow if the proposal were extended to include mandatory substitution of hazardous chemicals and if it obliged producers to supply full safety information on their substances."

In a briefing paper, the WWF stresses that 50 billion euros in environmental benefits over 25 years identified in the DHI study come "in addition to the 50 billion health benefits over 30 years already identified by the Commission when its proposal was published".

Since the first version of the REACH proposal was submitted in October 2003, a row has pitted industry experts against environmentalists and trade unions over the potential costs and benefits of REACH. The row was officially ended in April last year with the publication of an additional impact study done by KPMG for the European chemical industry council (CEFIC) and business organisation UNICE (EurActiv, 27 Apr. 2005).

To the surprise of NGOs, who had criticised the methodology as being biased in favour of industry, the KPMG study confirmed the Commission's own extended impact assessment, published along with the initial REACH proposal in 2003.

At the time, Enterprise Commissioner Verheugen and Environment Commissioner Dimas, said that the new study did not add much to the debate as it confirmed most of the Commission's own assessment. The first Commission estimates evaluated the costs of REACH at around €2.3 bn over 11 years or 0.05% of the annual turnover of the sector.

FOR FULL STORY GO TO:
http://www.euractiv.com/Article?tcmuri=tcm:29-152690-16&type=News
Euractiv www.euractiv.com

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Numbers don't add up for new stadiums: $394 million investment is not performing as anticipated

FIVE YEARS AGO, when City Council debated a $394 million investment of taxpayer dollars in new stadiums for the Phillies and Eagles, Mayor Street said not to worry.

"This is what I refer to as a deal that doesn't cost, but pays," Street testified. "This deal will allow us to have an additional $159 million to spend in the city's General Fund after it pays for itself."

Lincoln Financial Field would likely attract a Major League Soccer franchise, Council was told. We'd get a big-time college football game and other events. Money would come pouring in.

I knew then that, one day, I would come back and compare the promises to reality.

Now we have hard numbers for 2004, the first year both the Linc and Citizens Bank Park were operating - and guess what? Taxpayers didn't break even. We actually lost about $73,000.

That's the bottom line when you compare direct tax revenues associated with the stadiums to the $23.7 million the city paid in stadium bond debt and operating and maintenance payments required under the deal.

Tax revenues were stronger than expected from Phillies and Eagles games, and weaker than projected for other events, a smaller part of the picture.

But collections from the new city vehicle-rental tax enacted to fund the stadiums are running about 25 percent below projections.

The marginal loss on the stadiums in 2004 is based on the city Revenue Department's official numbers, and I should note that they differ from the tax-revenue figures I got from the Eagles and Phillies.

The teams' count was about $2.1 million higher than the city's, and if they're right, the city's take on the stadiums would appear to be in the black.

But both the city's and the teams' calculations are based on a dubious assumption: that every tax dollar generated by stadium events represents new money, dollars the city wouldn't have seen if we hadn't built new stadiums.

And that doesn't make sense. Do we really think the Rolling Stones wouldn't have come to Philadelphia if we didn't have the Linc?

Back when I was covering the stadium debate in 2000, I couldn't find a single independent economist who believed new stadiums were net tax generators, including jewels like Baltimore's Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

That's because so much of the money fans spend on games would stay in the local economy if there were no new stadium, and much would find its way into the tax coffers.


...
For 30 years, the city will spend an average of $23.4 million a year repaying stadium bonds, compared to the $18.4 million it paid in 2004.

And the $6.8 million a year the city now pays in operating and maintenance subsidies for the Linc will rise to $7.4 million in two years, and jump 15 percent every five years.

by Dave Davies
FOR FULL STORY GO TO:
http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/dailynews/news/local/13884520.htm?source=rss&channel=dailynews_local
Contra Costa Times www.contracostatimes.com

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02/13/06

Perx site cleanup cost jumps

The cost of cleaning up contamination on the former Perx property has nearly doubled, thanks to unanticipated expenses and the discovery of ground pollution on adjacent lands.

Dutchess County legislators are expected to vote Tuesday on a resolution allocating an additional $1.2 million for remediation work at the site off U.S. Route 9. Members of the Legislature's Budget and Finance Committee on Thursday endorsed the additional expenditure.

Of the total additional cost, $194,427 will come from the county's coffers. The remaining funds will come from the state.

Local and county officials have been working for the past several years to transform the 20-acre property, once the site of apple orchards and a frozen food processing plant, into senior citizen housing site. Putnam County Developer Ken Kearney, who is buying the property from the county, plans to construct a complex of 80 to 100 apartments.

Cleanup of the site was originally pegged at $1.76 million, with the state carrying 50 percent of the cost of building demolition and 90 percent of in-ground cleanup and soil removal costs.

Ken Moynihan, building administrator for the Dutchess County Department of Public Works, said cleanup crews discovered underground fuel storage tanks that they were not previously aware existed, along with some contaminated soil on at least three neighboring properties and on-site contaminated water.

Additionally, he said, a building with an asbestos roof that had been slated for demolition collapsed, forcing the county to treat the entire structure, rather than just the roof, as a hazardous cleanup site.

"At every step of the way, we're finding the unexpected," said Moynihan.

Because the county agreed to accept funding under the state's brownfields cleanup program, it has to finish the job it started, Moynihan said.

"The county was bound to remediate this property no matter where it took us," he said. "If we choose not to go (forward), not dollar one will be reimbursed to Dutchess County, not even what we've spent already." -->
...
Under the state program, the county pays for the cost of the cleanup and is reimbursed by the state.


...
By Patricia Doxsey
FOR FULL STORY GO TO:
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=16114365&BRD=1769&PAG=461&dept_id=74969&rfi=6
Daily Freeman www.dailyfreeman.com

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Latent preferences and valuation of wetland ecosystem restoration

J. Walter Milon and David Scrogin employ a latent class choice model to evaluate the effects of alternative ecological characterizations of wetland functions and services on individual preferences, and to determine whether socioeconomic factors and psychometric measures of environmental attitudes can explain differences in individual's preferences and values for wetland restoration. This analysis combines a multiattribute choice model with information on individual's characteristics to evaluate preferences for restoration of the Greater Everglades ecosystem, one of the largest and most comprehensive wetland ecosystem restoration projects. To identify potential endpoints for Everglades restoration, two alternative ecological characterizations of the ecosystem were developed using the familiar distinction between function and structure. Survey data from a representative sample of the general population were used in a split-sample design based on the ecological characterization treatment. Within each subsample, the latent class analysis identified three groups who varied in their preferences for ecosystem restoration and socioeconomic profiles. The ecological characterizations had a significant influence on respondents' preferences and willingness to pay (WTP). The subsample responding to the structural characterization had a significantly larger share of respondents in the group who favored proposed restoration plans than the functional attribute subsample. In both subsamples, the group who favored restoration had a higher WTP for restoration than other groups. The latent class analysis also revealed socioeconomic and attitudinal factors that explain some of the heterogeneity in preferences and WTP within each subsample; this heterogeneity would not be identified with a standard choice model. In the context of Everglades restoration, the results provide a baseline assessment of public support and WTP that suggests an emphasis on structural rather than functional restoration endpoints. The approach described in this article can be used in other policy studies of wetland ecosystems because multiple ecosystem services can be represented within a stated choice survey and differences in preferences and values for these services can be measured.

Keywords: Wetlands; Environmental values; Latent class models; Ecosystem services; Everglades

by J. Walter Milon and David Scrogin, Department of Economics, University of Central Florida, P.O. Box 161400, Orlando, FL 32816-1400, United States; Tel.: +1 407/823 1881; fax: +1 407/823 3269.

Ecological Economics via Elsevier Science Direct www.sciencedirect.com
Volume 56, Issue 2, 15 February 2006, pages 162-175
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2005.01.009
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VDY-4FPX2RD-1&_user=10&_handle=V-WA-A-W-AV-MsSWYVW-UUA-U-AAVWVUAZYU-AABEEYWVYU-ZCBCEAUAC-AV-U&_fmt=summary&_coverDate=02%2F15%2F2006&_rdoc=4&_orig=browse&_srch=%23toc%235995%232006%23999439997%23616476!&_cdi=5995&view=f&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=e271cb7f62f85608bead9d97d5f62b94

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Ecological Economics February 2006 Journal Table of Contents and Abstracts

Footprint Forum 2006: Accounting for a Small Planet
Page iii
Commentary

The necessity for environmental taxes for the avoidance of environmental thievery. A note on the paper “Environmental responsibility versus taxation”
Pages 159-161
by Kostas Bithas

Internalizing environmental costs is a necessary condition for an effective environmental policy. Since the majority of socio-economic activities cannot be free of environmental impacts, the noninternalized (external) environmental costs impose a peculiar thievery of welfare. Charging environmental costs through environmental taxes and other economic instruments is a necessary condition for avoiding welfare thievery. In this context, the anti-tax approaches emerging within ecological economics are found to be misleading and directing away from an effective environmental policy. Environmental responsibility is a different issue from the charging of the environmental costs. Therefore, environmental taxes should not be considered as an induction to less environmental responsibility and, hence, to environmental degradation.

Latent preferences and valuation of wetland ecosystem restoration
Pages 162-175
by J. Walter Milon and David Scrogin

J. Walter Milon and David Scrogin employ a latent class choice model to evaluate the effects of alternative ecological characterizations of wetland functions and services on individual preferences, and to determine whether socioeconomic factors and psychometric measures of environmental attitudes can explain differences in individual's preferences and values for wetland restoration. This analysis combines a multiattribute choice model with information on individual's characteristics to evaluate preferences for restoration of the Greater Everglades ecosystem, one of the largest and most comprehensive wetland ecosystem restoration projects. To identify potential endpoints for Everglades restoration, two alternative ecological characterizations of the ecosystem were developed using the familiar distinction between function and structure. Survey data from a representative sample of the general population were used in a split-sample design based on the ecological characterization treatment. Within each subsample, the latent class analysis identified three groups who varied in their preferences for ecosystem restoration and socioeconomic profiles. The ecological characterizations had a significant influence on respondents' preferences and willingness to pay (WTP). The subsample responding to the structural characterization had a significantly larger share of respondents in the group who favored proposed restoration plans than the functional attribute subsample. In both subsamples, the group who favored restoration had a higher WTP for restoration than other groups. The latent class analysis also revealed socioeconomic and attitudinal factors that explain some of the heterogeneity in preferences and WTP within each subsample; this heterogeneity would not be identified with a standard choice model. In the context of Everglades restoration, the results provide a baseline assessment of public support and WTP that suggests an emphasis on structural rather than functional restoration endpoints. The approach described in this article can be used in other policy studies of wetland ecosystems because multiple ecosystem services can be represented within a stated choice survey and differences in preferences and values for these services can be measured.

Is there a turning point in the relationship between income and energy use and/or carbon emissions?
Pages 176-189
by Amy K. Richmond and Robert K. Kaufmann

Amy K. Richmond and Robert K. Kaufmann analyze the effect of fuel mix, model specification, and the level of development on the presence and size of a turning point in the relationship between income and energy use and/or carbon emissions. The results indicate that fuel mix, the specification for income, and the level of economic development affect conclusions about whether there is a turning point in the relationship between economic activity and energy use and carbon emissions. Including fuel shares generally reduces the size of a turning point that is estimated from a panel that includes observations from both OECD and Non-OECD nations. But this result varies according to the level of development. For OECD nations, there is limited support for a turning point in the relationship between income and per capita energy use and/or carbon emissions. For non-OECD nations, there is no turning point in the relationship between income and either energy use or carbon emissions. Instead, the relationship is positive. Together, the results indicate that forecasters and policy makers should not depend on a turning point in the relationship between income and energy use or carbon emissions to reduce either.

Conserving energy in smallholder agriculture: A multi-objective programming case-study of northwest India
Pages 190-208
by Samarthia Thankappan, Peter Midmore and Tim Jenkins

In semi-arid conditions in Northwest India, smallholder agriculture has made increasing use of subsidised mechanisation and energy inputs to reduce short-term risks. However, detrimental environmental consequences have occurred, not least a rapidly falling water table, and energy-intensive production is threatened by the prospect of increasing scarcity and expense of energy supplies, especially as urban demands are forecast to grow rapidly. This paper describes the energy flows through four subsystems of smallholder agricultural villages: the crop system; non-crop land uses; livestock systems; and households. It employs a multi-objective programming model to demonstrate choices available for maximands either of net solar energy capture or financial surpluses. Applied to three villages selected to represent major settlement types in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat, the results demonstrate that both energy conservation and financial performance can be improved. Although these results need qualifying because of the reductionist, linear character of the model used, they do provide important insights into the cultural role of mechanisation and the influence of traditional agricultural practices. They also underline the need for local energy conservation strategies as part of an overall approach to improved self-determination in progress towards rural sustainability.

Bringing economic opportunity into line with environmental influence: A discussion on the Coase theorem and the Porter and van der Linde hypothesis
Pages 209-225
by Pontus Cerin

Environmental concerns and tightened environmental policy parameters have been associated with the notion of additional costs of compliance rather than with innovation and sustainability. The contrary, has also been suggested, claiming that strict environmental legislation merely serves as a catalyst for firms to retain obvious economic and environmental mutual gains–so called win–wins–laying around waiting to be collected. Such implications can be seen from the Porter and van der Linde writings, heavily criticised by Palmer et al. as being built on faulty examples. This paper supports that conclusion and uses property rights and transactions costs theories to find private incentives to explore the win–wins for those actors who have the largest potentials to diminish the pressure on our environment. By applying the Coase theorem, emphasising transaction costs and property rights, this paper argues that strong public support is needed to create private incentives for exploring economic and environmental win–win innovations. The public support suggested is to (A) extend producer responsibilities–where the same costs which may be neglected by the end consumers will, if transferred to the design owner, be viewed as a production cost–and to ( enforce environmental public procurement. Both may be combined with a support to (C) actors (such as non-governmental organisations and consumer agencies) positioning themselves as information bridges by informing the consumers. The negative effects of asymmetric information among actors can, thereby, be diminished as well as the low interest to primarily care for the environment among common consumers.

An input–output model of water consumption: Analysing intersectoral water relationships in Andalusia
Pages 226-240
by Esther Velázquez

This paper presents an input–output model of sectoral water consumption, created by combining the extended Leontief input–output model with the model of energy use developed by Proops. The analysis is applied to Andalusia, a region situated in the South of Spain which is characterized by water shortage. We determine which economic sectors consume the greatest quantities of water, both directly and indirectly, and to what extent this natural resource may become a limiting factor in the growth of certain production sectors. The model allows us to distinguish between direct and indirect consumption, thus offering the possibility of designing an economic and environmental policy oriented towards water saving. Additionally, the model allows simulation of possible changes in water consumption caused by certain environmental measures, as well as their consequences on the regional economy.

The Montreal Protocol's multilateral fund and sustainable development
Pages 241-255
by Ralph Luken and Tamas Grof

The 1987 Montreal Protocol is widely seen as a global environmental accord that has produced tangible results in terms of reductions in ozone-depleting substances. In addition, there have been other benefits, largely unrecognized and undocumented, that can best be characterized in a sustainable development framework based on a review of 50 out of 931 projects implemented over a 13 year period by one of the four implementing agencies of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol. All investment projects have reduced ozone depleting potential and global warming potential. Some projects have reduced atmospheric emissions and contamination of groundwater. Other projects have increased the competitiveness of enterprises in domestic and international markets and have sustained and in a few cases created employment opportunities. Others, fewer in number, have potentially contributed to environmental problems, have initially created difficulties in maintaining productivity and quality standards and have decreased the number of employment opportunities because of the need to rationalize manufacturing processes.

The potential contributions from Multilateral Fund investment projects to sustainable development could probably have been amplified with project design guidance for the technical staffs of all three implementing agencies executing investment projects. In thinking about other multilateral environmental agreements, one can see the need for similar guidance for Global Environment Facility funded projects supporting the focal areas of climate change, international waters, ozone depletion and persistent organic pollutants. Some of them have the potential to generate multiple beneficial impacts in addition to their stated environmental objective if designed and implemented within a sustainable development framework.

The systems dynamics of endogenous population growth in a renewable resource-based growth model
Pages 256-267
by Kerry Krutilla and Rafael Reuveny

This paper evaluates the dynamic effects of adding an endogenous process for human population growth into a renewable resource-based economic growth model. Endogenizing human population growth in a static, constant technology form of the model gives rise to a dynamically complex system, with the possibility of multiple steady states of several types, and unusual comparative static responses to changes in the system's parameters. Adding technological progress to the model gives rise to the possibility of multiple sustainable paths for the variables in the system. These results reinforce concerns raised by ecological economists about systems stability and sustainability, since exogenous shocks to the system could move the economy from higher welfare to lower welfare equilibria or, in the model with technological progress, from higher welfare to lower welfare sustainable growth paths. Moreover, this kind of dynamic complexity adds to the management challenge faced by policy makers, who could confront the necessity of maneuvering the economy among different equilibria or sustainable growth paths.

The effects of El Niño on the mackerel purse-seine fishery harvests in Taiwan: An analysis integrating the barometric readings and sea surface temperature
Pages 268-279
by Chin-Hwa Sun, Fu-Sung Chiang, Eugene Tsoa and Min-Hsiang Chen

The harvest of mackerel purse-seine fishery in Taiwan fell sharply by 47.75% following the strong El Niño of 1997/1998. In this study, we try to incorporate El Niño barometric readings and sea surface temperature measurements into analysis for predicting the biomass. Using daily logbook records of the mackerel purse-seine fishery from 1982 to 1999, we identify the factors that influence the catch of mackerel purse-seine fishery in Taiwan. Based on an empirical model and the results of a fishing fleet cost survey, we estimate the average cost and the welfare loss associated with an El Niño. A time-series simulation shows that adding the El Niño barometric readings information improves the accuracy of biomass forecasts. It also shows that about 14 months after the strong El Niño has occurred, the biomass index is 13.2% lower and the number of fishing day is 10.4% higher. The estimated welfare loss of all mackerel purse-seine fleets during September to January in the year subsequent to the El Niño is about US$6 million. Policy implications of the study are also discussed.

Environmentally sensitive productivity growth: A global analysis using Malmquist–Luenberger index
Pages 280-293
Surender Kumar

Surender Kumar examines conventional and environmentally sensitive total factor productivity (TFP) in 41 developed and developing countries over the period of 1971 to 1992. Due to the non-availability of reliable input and CO2 emissions price data, the study uses directional distance function to derive Malmquist–Luenberger (ML) productivity index. The index allows us to decompose the TFP into measures of technical and efficiency changes. DEA is used to compute the directional distance functions. We find that TFP index value is not different when we account for the CO2 emissions relative to the situation when they are freely disposable. But for the components of TFP change: technical and efficiency changes, the null hypothesis of whether the indexes are the same under two different scenarios cannot be accepted. Issues of catch-up and convergence, or in some cases possible divergence, in productivity are examined within a global framework. The paper also studies the impact of openness on conventional and environmentally sensitive measures of productivity.

The pricing of protected areas in nature-based tourism: A local perspective
Pages 294-307
Francisco Alpízar

This paper extends the literature on optimal pricing of recreation in protected areas by introducing price discrimination between groups of visitors and, given that the agency charges different prices to subsets of visitors, by including a distributional dimension that is particularly relevant for a national park agency receiving visitors from different origins. Other issues related to optimal entrance fees, including negative ecological impacts and positive spillover effects on local communities resulting from changes in visitation, are also discussed. Based on this model, the paper provides an estimation of optimal entrance fees and revenues for the Costa Rican system of protected areas.

Call for Papers
Page 308

Ecological Economics via Elsevier Science Direct www.sciencdirect.com/locate/ecolecon
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=IssueURL&_tockey=%23TOC%235995%232006%23999439997%23616476%23FLA%23&_auth=y&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=fcd78e1bc4798335a3c09a0b045ae245

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02/12/06

Recycling's crushing costs: For every ton of materials Columbia recycles it loses money. On the other hand, the sucess of the curbside recycling program is keeping tons of material out of the landfill.

When Columbia’s curbside recycling program started 20 years ago, it was little more than an $11,000 blip on the city’s solid-waste budget. In 1986, its first full year of monthly curbside service, the collections were made by a temporary worker with a trailer pulled behind a pickup.

City recycling has since become a $1.6 million per year operation, with 17 full-time employees, 25 temporary employees, six collection trucks, seven drop-off locations and, most recently, the 26,000 square-foot Material Recovery Facility located near the municipal landfill on Peabody Road. Added to that list are programs for collecting white goods and household hazardous waste.

Columbia’s recycling program is one of the state’s best, said Matt Harline, director of the Mid-Missouri Solid Waste Management District, which supports recycling projects in an eight-county area.

On paper, at least, the city recycling program also had a net cost of $963,993 in fiscal 2005, according to city figures.

“It costs a lot to recycle,” said Sarah Talbert, a financial management specialist with the Department of Public Works. “Costs just keep going up.”

The data indicates that over the past two decades, the more Columbia residents recycled, the more money the program lost. Since 2000, collected tonnage and recycling program losses increased by nearly 80 percent, though cost per ton has decreased since the program’s beginning.

The main reason the recycling program is not able to support itself is because as the tonnage of recycled materials grows, the costs of collecting the materials and administering the program also increase proportionally, Talbert said, but revenues do not. That means the majority of recycling costs must instead be covered by city residents who pay a monthly solid-waste utility bill that includes $2.06 earmarked for recycling. The majority of the rest of the bill goes toward trash and yard debris pick-up.

The city took a step toward boosting short-term revenues by opening the $1.3 million recycling facility at the landfill in 2002, which enabled the city to process and sell recycled materials. But the facility is dealing with a host of difficulties, including the high costs of contamination and manual sorting. In order to recoup some of the costs the city sells the recycled material. However, the markets for the materials fluctuate month-to-month so even this method of making money is somewhat unreliable. So even though revenues skyrocketed from $37,000 in the year before the facility opened to $634,450 this fiscal year, that still is not enough to cover its day-to-day operations, much less the building’s financing and depreciation costs.

To cover those expenses, the city ratcheted up monthly solid-waste bills from $9.85 to $11.17 per month in three phases. The first two phases were a 45-cent increase and the last phase was a 42-cent increase. All of the revenues from the increase went to the material recovery facility.

But when it comes to recycling, numbers are only half the story, Harline said.

According to a 2003 national study by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Solid Waste, the direct costs of operating a municipal recycling program typically are higher than the would-be costs of collecting and disposing of the goods as trash. And like Columbia, such programs are usually supplemented by user fees.

Nevertheless, the study finds recycling to be socially beneficial up to a cost of $425 per ton when advantages such as reduced landfilling and pollution are taken into account. Recycling in Columbia cost $116 per ton last year.

“If you use most companies’ fiscal-quarter outlook on life, then yes, it is more efficient on that scale to put stuff in the landfill,” Harline said. “But if you’re looking in the long term, it makes sense to recycle.”

To illustrate the value of curbside recycling — even when it costs — Harline said he likes to compare the programs in Columbia and Jefferson City. Columbia recycles nine separate types of paper along with plastics, metals and glass, while Jefferson City recycles just three items: newspapers, cardboard and magazines. Columbia’s program brought in 8,337 tons last year; Jefferson City just 346 tons.

And yet, because Jefferson City only offers drop-off rather than curbside recycling, its costs are low, and it typically receives payment from the private company that picks up recyclables.

“The city of Jefferson can say without batting an eye that their recycling program makes money. At the same time, they have much, much less tonnage and much less impact on the environment,” Harline said. “Columbia recycles 8,337 tons a year, and it costs.”

“The question is, which is better? Maybe someone in finance will tell you Jefferson’s program is much better,” he said. “I wouldn’t tell you that.”

CURBSIDE WOES

Even in the short term, most recycling makes clear financial sense. Across the country the number of private recycling companies is on the rise. In Missouri alone there are 1,228 recycling-related establishments that together employ more than 28,000 people, according to a 2005 study on the statewide economic impact of recycling by the MU’s Institute for Public Policy. All told, direct yearly sales from these Missouri companies top $5.1 billion.

“They’re not in it solely to get to heaven,” Harline said of these private recyclers. “Those businesses are either profitable or they go away.”

To remain profitable, many companies steer clear of municipal curbside programs, which typically require stops at thousands of homes just to net a few tons of contaminated materials that need to be sorted and processed before they can be sold. Instead, most private firms prefer to focus on higher-volume commercial recycling, where a single stop can yield a ton or more of clean, presorted material.

Originally, Columbia residents pre-sorted all their recyclables, which were collected by the city in partitioned flatbed trucks and then processed by Civic Recycling, a private company. While that system made the material relatively easy and inexpensive to process, household participation hovered at around 5 percent.

In 1998, the city switched to a program designed to ease the burden on residents. It requires that fiber materials such as paper and containers be presorted. Containers are to be put in blue bags, that are distributed free of charge to households. Papers and fibers can be bundled with string or placed in a recyclable non-plastic container, such as cardboard or a paper bag. Participation surged, and within a year collected curbside tonnage tripled.

But dealing with the recyclables was so labor-intensive and inefficient that Civic Recycling ended its contract with the city in 2001 to focus instead on commercial recycling, said Cynthia Mitchell, superintendent of both the landfill and the material recovery facility.

Rather than find another contractor, the city decided to tackle sorting on its own. Within a year and a half of building the recycling facility, the waste management district awarded the facility nearly $500,000 in grants for equipment such as a baler and fiber and container sort lines, which enable recyclables to be processed and baled on-site as well.

Before the recycling facility opened, the program’s annual tonnage was just shy of 5,000 tons. Lowell Patterson, then-director of the Public Works Department, said the new facility would begin to pay off when the volume of recyclable material reached about 7,000 tons per year. This year, the facility processed 8,300 tons, and while revenues from the recycled materials were $147,000 short of covering the costs of running and staffing the facility, Mitchell said the recycling facility doesn’t need to be totally self-sufficient to be a winning proposition.

“If we didn’t recycle and just put everything in the landfill, we’re taking up the landfill space and our cost on that is $32.50 per ton,” she said. “So it’s good, of course, to have an operational goal of balancing things out, but if we can keep (the cost of running the facility) cheaper than going in the landfill, we feel like it’s worth it.”

In its first year of operation the facility lost $49 per ton on recyclables. In 2004 it lost $33 per ton and in 2005, for the first time, the losses came in below the landfill fee, at $18 per ton.

SYSTEMIC INEFFICIENCIES

Winter is always a boom time for recycling in Columbia, and these days the recycling facility is running at maximum capacity. A backlog of recycled goods that have yet to be sorted and baled are crammed onto the 10,000-square-foot tipping floor, piled into virtual mountains of paper and blue bags. Though Mitchell recently extended the facility’s operations to 80 hours per week, the two 11-person crews still can’t keep up with the daily influx of 20 tons to 40 tons of recyclables. For now a portion is shipped each week to a “single-stream” plant in St. Louis that doesn’t presort recyclables.

FOR FULL STORY GO TO:
http://www.columbiamissourian.com/news/story.php?ID=18321
The Columbia Missouria www.columbiamissourian.com

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10:13:47 pm, Categories: Academic Study/Journal Article, Floods, 383 words   English (US)

Towards Formulation of a Space-borne System for Early Warning of Floods: Can Cost-Effectiveness Outweigh Prediction Uncertainty?

The three most important components necessary for functioning of an operational flood warning system are: (1) a rainfall measuring system; (2) a soil moisture updating system; and, (3) a surface discharge measuring system. Although surface based networks for these systems can be largely inadequate in many parts of the world, this inadequacy particularly affects the tropics, which are most vulnerable to flooding hazards. Furthermore, the tropical regions comprise developing countries lacking the financial resources for such surface-based monitoring. The heritage of research conducted on evaluating the potential for measuring discharge from space has now morphed into an agenda for a mission dedicated to space-based surface discharge measurements. This mission juxtaposed with two other upcoming space-based missions: (1) for rainfall measurement (Global Precipitation Measurement, GPM), and (2) soil moisture measurement (Hydrosphere State, HYDROS), bears promise for designing a fully space-borne system for early warning of floods. Such a system, if operational, stands to offer tremendous socio-economic benefit to many flood-prone developing nations of the tropical world. However, there are two competing aspects that need careful assessment to justify the viability of such a system: (1) cost-effectiveness due to surface data scarcity; and (2) flood prediction uncertainty due to uncertainty in the remote sensing measurements. This paper presents the flood hazard mitigation opportunities offered by the assimilation of the three proposed space missions within the context of these two competing aspects. The discussion is cast from the perspective of current understanding of the prediction uncertainties associated with space-based flood prediction. A conceptual framework for a fully space-borne system for early-warning of floods is proposed. The need for retrospective validation of such a system on historical data comprising floods and its associated socio-economic impact is stressed. This proposal for a fully space-borne system, if pursued through wide interdisciplinary effort as recommended herein, promises to enhance the utility of the three space missions more than what their individual agenda can be expected to offer.

Keywords flood hazards - early warning systems - space-based missions - remote sensing - prediction uncertainty

by Faisal Hossain, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tennessee Technological University, Box 5015, Cookeville, TN 38505-0001, USA; , Phone: +1-931-372-3257, Fax: +1-931-372-6239

Natural Hazards via SpringerLink www.springerlink.com
ISSN: 0921-030X (Paper) 1573-0840 (Online)
DOI: 10.1007/s11069-005-4645-0
Volume 37, Number 3; March 2006, pages 263 - 276
http://www.springerlink.com/(0xbngr45b35feh55jin3ns55)/app/home/contribution.asp?referrer=parent&backto=issue,2,10;journal,1,100;linkingpublicationresults,1:102967,1

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Science parks in Japan and their value-added contributions to new technology-based firms

This study investigates the value-added contributions of science parks to new technology-based firms (NTBFs). In particular, we focus on whether on-park NTBFs are likely to establish knowledge linkage, represented as joint research, with local higher education institutes (HEIs). Based on a bivariate probit model, we show that on-park NTBFs exhibit a higher propensity to engage in joint research with research institutes. However, the geographical range of knowledge linkage is not localized as hypothesized. Furthermore, no significant difference was found between science parks and other types of property-based initiatives with regard to the degree of encouragement provided to tenants to establish localized HEI linkage.

Keywords: Science parks; New technology-based firms; Innovation; Joint research
JEL classification: O33; M21; R58

by Nobuya Fukugawa, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Japan; Graduate School of Commerce, Hitotsubashi University, 2-1 Naka, Kunitachi, Tokyo, 186-8601, Japan. Tel./fax: +81 42 580 8877.

International Journal of Industrial Organization via Elsevier Science Direct www.sciencedirect.com
Volume 24, Issue 2; March 2006, pages 381-400
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V8P-4H2G8V1-1&_coverDate=03%2F31%2F2006&_alid=365279381&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_qd=1&_cdi=5876&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=518a6245dd4869ab5ff16a0cfe6ef367
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijindorg.2005.07.005

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09:50:41 pm, Categories: Energy, Asia, Academic Study/Journal Article, Savings, Costs and Benefits, 284 words   English (US)

Technoeconomic appraisal of a ground source heat pump system for a heating season in eastern Turkey

In this study, performance experiments and economic analysis of a horizontal ground source heat pump (GSHP) system have been performed. The horizontal GSHP system connected to a test room, Elazığ (38.41°N, 39.14°E), Turkey, was designed and constructed for space heating. The heating and cooling loads of the test room were 2.5 and 3.1 kW at design conditions, respectively. The performance was determined experimentally under real operational conditions. The experimental results were obtained from 7 November 2002 to 3 May 2003 in the heating season of 2002–2003. A detailed cost analysis was presented and payback periods when substituting for different local fuel/power sources were determined. The GSHP system was compared to conventional heating methods (electric resistance, fuel oil, liquid petrol gas, coal, oil and natural gas) in the economical analysis using an annualised life cycle cost method. It was shown that the GSHP system offers economic advantages over the mentioned first five conventional heating methods. However, it is not an economic alternative system to natural gas.

Keywords: Ground source heat pump; Horizontal heat exchanger; Thermal analysis; Economic analysis

by Hikmet Esena, Mustafa Inallib and Mehmet Esena
1. Department of Mechanical Education, Faculty of Technical Education, Fırat University, 23119 Elazığ, Turkey; Tel.: +90 424 237 0000/6651; fax: +90 424 236 7064
2. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Fırat University, 23119 Elazığ, Turkey

Energy Conversion and Management via Elsevier Science Direct www.ScienceDirect.com
Volume 47, Issues 9-10; June 2006, pages 1281-1297
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V2P-4GWJ86Y-1&_coverDate=06%2F30%2F2006&_alid=365277035&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_qd=1&_cdi=5708&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=9de56e1787bc220c0b901ed554d38c7f
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enconman.2005.06.024

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Clearing the Smoke on Diesel: A new wave of cleaner diesel engines will give hybrids a run for their money, says J.D. Power's Al Bedwell

Hybrid gas-electric cars have been all the rage of late. But those enviro-friendly cars will soon be making room on the highway for a new set of green wheels. The next generation of superclean diesel engines are about to challenge hybrid technology for a share of America's burgeoning green-vehicle market, with the first cars from Mercedes Benz (DCX) and Volkswagen hitting the U.S. market this year. Right behind them are other German auto makers with their own versions of clean diesel as well as such marketing-savvy Japanese as Nissan (NSANY) and Honda (HMC).

How environmentally friendly and fuel efficient will these cars be? What will they be like to drive? And how well will American auto buyers, long averse to diesel, warm up to the new push? BusinessWeek Senior European Correspondent Gail Edmondson spoke with Al Bedwell, senior manager at J.D. Power Forecasting in Oxford, Britain, about the prospects for success of clean-diesel cars. Edited excerpts of their conversation follow:

Why does J.D. Power believe that diesels will grab a much larger share of the market than hybrids for fuel-efficient cars?

The problem with hybrid cars is they have an expensive power train.

Hybrids have two engines connected by an expensive electronic kit.

They're likely to always cost more than a clean diesel power train. Once consumers add up the costs and benefits for hybrid cars, they aren't likely to do as well over the long term. There will always be people willing to pay more for an environmentally friendly car. But people who are constrained by costs and still want a fuel-efficient car will opt for clean diesel.

When will sales of diesel outstrip those of hybrids.

If you include the heavy-duty pickup sector, diesel already outsells hybrid in the U.S. Total sales of diesel vehicles last year in the U.S. was 549,000, vs. only 250,000 for hybrids. Diesel needs to win in the light-truck and passenger-car sector. That's the battleground.

Right now, California and New York refuse to register new diesel cars because they don't meet emission regulations. Will that change with the newer generation diesels?


...
In the past when diesel cars burned a dirtier fuel, consumers needed a big economic incentive to buy diesel. Now, with diesel that's as nice as gas, you don't need low diesel prices to sell cars. And if you get 25% to 35% better gas mileage, you're still gaining quite a lot of savings.

And will the oil companies play their part and offer enough clean diesel to the U.S. market?

We have spoken with the oil companies, and they tell us they can supply enough low-sulfur diesel to meet U.S. demand.

There's the possibility of bio-diesel too. That's a win-win situation.

Biodiesel is added directly into the diesel, and that can change the economic equation again. The emissions becomes even better, since bio fuels are carbon-neutral.

by Gail Edmondson
FOR FULL STORY GO TO:
http://www.businessweek.com/autos/content/feb2006/bw20060208_589016.htm
Business Week www.businessweek.com

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Cost-Benefit News

Cost Benefit News covers legal, academic, and regulatory developments pertaining to the valuation of environmental amenities and disamenities, such as clean air, trees, parks, congestion, and noise. We apprise the reader about ways in which costs and benefits are measured, and the results of empirical studies. We hope that this information will allow public and private organizations to comprehend the risks and benefits of various actions, help disputants to resolve conflicts equitably and efficiently, and improve the quality of public policies. We will only discuss issues related to the empirical quantification of private and social costs and benefits and damages, and summarize information from daily newspapers, academic journals, legal publications, court decisions, professional newsletters commissioned studies, and on-line services. This newsletter is dedicated to the principal that all policies place values upon life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We believe that more information, explicit specification of assumptions, and rigorous analysis can help our society to better meet these ends. This site will increasingly serve, in conjunction with others, as a valuation database. We will include a wide range of studies, including non-environmental reports, because omission of a factor effectively values it at zero, and biases decisions.

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  • NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) Contingent Valuation/Recreational Values Website Updated February 14, 2006
  • Regulation, Markets, and Choice in Metropolitan Land Use: A Resources For the Future (RFF) First Wednesday Seminar
  • Former hog farm is big mess for state: Colorado is preparing legal action against company's owner
  • Land buyers face more EPA rules: Environmental site assessments get more complex Nov. 1
  • China faces uphill battle to turn its growth Green
  • Simulating a combination of feebates and scrappage incentives to reduce automobile emissions
  • Valuing Consumer Products by the Time Spent Using Them: An Application to the Internet
  • Radioactive lorry leak firm fined
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Editor and Publisher: Kenneth Acks

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