America’s Children and the Environment brings together, in one place, quantitative information from a variety of sources to show trends in levels of environmental contaminants in air, water, food, and soil; concentrations of contaminants measured in the bodies of mothers and children; and childhood diseases that may be influenced by environmental factors. For a guide to all of the measures included in this site, see the Summary List of Measures.
The Environmental Protection Agency issued two findings in December 2009 that are necessary precursors to regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. The first finding is that six greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) — endanger the public health and welfare of current and future generations. The second finding is that emissions of these six greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles cause or contribute to the greenhouse gas pollution that endangers public health and welfare.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been engaged in a wide range of research into approaches aimed at curbing the United States’ contribution to global warming. Areas of investigation by NCEE include economic analyses of regulatory policy instruments such as emissions trading, estimation of greenhouse gas reduction benefits, the role of uncertainty, and modeling the economic impacts of ocean acidification.
NCEE produces analyses that are vital to understanding economic issues surrounding the management of hazardous and municipal solid waste. Many of these analyses relate to the 1976 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and subsequent amendments under which the management of both solid and hazardous waste is regulated.
The economics of contaminated site cleanup and land reuse are another important focus of NCEE analyses. Sites may be contaminated by inappropriate waste management or by mistakes or carelessness in manufacturing or transportation processes. The primary risks posed by such sites are to human health and the environment. Many of the most contaminated sites are regulated by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA, also known as “Superfund”). The potential for contamination and the liability provisions of CERCLA are associated with persistent problems with vacant or underused land. This is addressed by The Brownfields Law of 2002, more formally known as The Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act. The Act defines a brownfield site as real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Brownfield sites also include sites contaminated by petroleum or petroleum products, controlled substances, and mine-scarred lands.
This page contains information on Frequently Asked Questions on Mortality Risk Valuation and EPA practices concerning the use and measurement of the “Value of a Statistical Life” as it is applied in EPA economic analyses.
The Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures (PACE) survey is the most comprehensive national source of pollution abatement costs and expenditures related to environmental protection for the manufacturing sector of the United States. The PACE survey collects facility-level data on pollution abatement capital expenditures and operating costs associated with compliance to local, state, and federal regulations and voluntary or market-driven pollution abatement activities. The survey has not been administered since 2000 in order for the EPA to evaluate the PACE survey and guidelines. The 2005 PACE survey is the result of a multi-year redevelopment/evaluation effort by the EPA to ensure the accuracy of the survey responses. The redevelopment/evaluation effort has been well-documented and links to research papers and reports can be found later on this website.