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Water: Module 5

Basic Course: Key Concepts (Module 5.e)

Changing a Designated Use: The Economic Factor

Module 5. Water Quality Flexibilities

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Many States/Tribes have based their use attainability analyses on factor six, establishing that the imposition of controls beyond the technology-based minimums would result in "substantial and widespread economic and social impact."  This language is generally interpreted as addressing affordability.

Key Point. Making the economic case does not call for turning the use attainability analysis into a cost-benefit analysis. Rather, it calls for evaluating (1) the cost of treatment, (2) whether the discharger can afford more stringent controls (i.e., company solvency), and (3) what the effect of higher costs would be on the community (e.g., median household income).
Video Clip. View a 2-minute video clip from the classroom session about EPA and States/Tribes working together on water quality.
Resources. Listing of guidance from EPA and other sources on use attainability analyses. Proceed to the Resources Topic. » (Note: This link launches a pop-up window.)

For informational purposes only–Not official statements of EPA policy.

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