The Clean Air Act and volatile organic compounds: Did plants reduce their health-indexed air emissions or shift their emissions into other media?
|Speaker:||Shanti Rabindran, University of Pittsburgh|
|Location:||CPR Large Conference Room|
|Date:||Thu, Apr 23, 2009|
Do plants respond to medium-specific regulation of pollutants by reducing their emissions into that medium or by shifting their emissions into other media? I examine the impact of the U.S. Clean Air Act’s ground-level ozone regulations (CAA) on the chemical manufacturing sector’s health-indexed emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) that are reportable to the Toxic Release Inventory. I construct a database of 1,964 plants across the United States between 1988 and 2002. I estimate the CAA’s regulatory effects by comparing the changes in health-indexed emissions of plants in counties that are in non-attainment status for ground-level ozone, where the CAA regulation is stricter, with their counterparts in attainment counties. I also control for changes in plant-level output, using changes in employment as a proxy. The results indicate that the CAA reduced health-indexed VOC emissions into air and that the CAA did not increase emissions into water, onto land or to offsite transfers.
A copy of the paper is available here.