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Legalize effluent trading among permit holders

Effluent markets present the possibility of reducing basin-wide pollutant discharge in a flexible and market-driven manner. By allowing the buying and selling of effluent discharge capacity, an effluent market system is inherently more efficient than other systems founded on simple regulation. Effluent markets that are already in place have applied all the progressive-reduction tenets of regulation-based systems, which demand reduced total emissions (Inc., 2001). Furthermore, a market system will reduce the time and effort needed to inspect factory equipment by measuring the total emissions from a given plant rather than summing the outputs from specific pieces of equipment in that factory (RECLAIM, 2001). The effluent market will allow companies and industries that are unable to reduce their emissions below requirements to remain in business, albeit at an economic disadvantage, while still reducing the total area-wide emissions. However, because some emitters may purchase permits for increased discharge, pollution may increase in localized regions.

Andy Wingo 2001-12-10