The Effects of Hazardous Waste Taxes on Generation and Disposal of Chlorinated Solvent Waste

Hilary Sigman


Hilary Sigman, October 1992In 1989, 30 states levied taxes on e generation or management of hazardous waste. These taxes constitute one of the broadest applications of an emissions tax in U.S. environmental policy and provide a natural experiment for studying the effects of such taxes. This paper examines the impacts on chlorinated solvent waste from metal cleaning, using plant-level data from EPA’s 1987-89 Toxic Release Inventories. The results suggest that the taxes have an observable, but small, impact on total generation of solvent wastes. The taxes also reduce the frequency with which land disposal is used relative to incineration or other treatment.