Problem

Lack of integrated pollution control

Other Names:
Inadequate systems of pollution management
Nature:

Integrated pollution control is an approach to pollution control which recognizes the need to look at the environment as a whole, so that solution to particular problems take account of potential effects upon all environmental media.

Incidence:

In the USA, Amoco and the Environmental Protection Agency did a thorough study of one refinery in Yorktown, Virginia, to discover what pollutants came out from it and how dangerous each was. Their conclusion was that some of the things that Amoco and other refiners were required to do by EPA regulations were less effective than alternatives; meanwhile, pollution from many sources that government does not regulate could have been decreased. The study group concluded that for one fourth of the amount that it currently spends on pollution control, Amoco could achieve the same effect in protection of health and the environment – just by spending money where it made a difference, rather than where government dictated.

Claim:

Pollution is a "commons problem" which centralized, command and control systems fail to adequately address. If bureaucrats decide exactly what levels of pollution to allow, it it makes pollution free up to the threshold especially when no no credit is given for any reductions below the threshold. On the other hand, if a company does voluntary control of pollution rather than waiting for regulation, it is punished by putting itself at a comparative disadvantage.

 

Problem Type:
C: Cross-sectoral problems
Date of last update
11.12.2017 – 12:34 CET