||1999 Earth Day Information Center|
Earth Day 1999 Fact Sheet
The Rising Cost of Regulations Since the First Earth Day
- The cost of environmental and risk regulations on the economy has risen
from $80 billion per year in 1977 to an estimated $258 billion in 1999.
Source: T.D. Hopkins, "Regulatory Costs in Profile," Center for
the Study of American Business.
- Small business, the main engine of economic growth in the United States,
is disproportionately impacted by environmental regulations. A business
that employs between 1-19 employees must spend an average of $1,246 per
employee to comply with environmental regulation; a business employing
between 20 and 499 must spend $1,194; a business employing more than 500
spends $671 per employee. Source: T.D. Hopkins, "Profiles of Regulatory
Costs, A Report to the U.S. Small Business Administration," November,
- Between the early 1970s and 1990, the regulatory requirements of the
Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act resulted in a reduction of national
income of 6% by 1990. Source: Michael Hazilla and Raymond Kopp, "Social
Cost of Environmental Quality: A General Equilibrium," Journal of
Political Economy, Vol. 98, No. 4 (1990), pp. 853-73.
- New Environmental Protection Agency regulations for particulate matter
and ozone imposed in 1997 will cost between $60 and $100 billion annually.
Source: Angela Antonelli, "Can No One Stop the EPA?" Heritage
Foundation Backgrounder No. 1129, July 8, 1997, pp. 11-13.
- The federal government has spent more than $30 billion on the Superfund
site clean-up program since it was established in 1980. This figure doesn't
include the cost of clean up to private businesses. Of the 1,238 "worst"
sites placed on the National Priorities list, only 291 - or about 24% -
have been cleaned up. Between 36 cents and 60 cents of every federal dollar
spent on Superfund has gone to lawyers' fees and other transaction costs,
not cleanup. Sources: John Shanahan, "How to Rescue Superfund,"
Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 1047, July 31 1995 and Sterling Burnett,
"Five Principles for a Better Environment," Brief Analysis No.
262, National Center For Policy Analysis, April 22, 1998.
- Environmental regulations cost every American household almost $1,800
per year. Source: John Shanahan, "How to Talk About the Environment,"
Heritage Foundation Talking Points No. 16, September 6, 1996.
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