What Drives Participation in State Voluntary Cleanup Programs?

By February 1, 2008Library

Allen Blackman, Thomas P. Lyon, Kris Wernstedt, and Sarah Darley

Abstract

Virtually all U.S. states have now created voluntary cleanup programs (VCPs) offering liability relief and other incentives for responsible parties to remediate contaminated sites. We use a duration model to analyze participation in Oregon’s program. In contrast to previous VCP research, we find that this program attracts sites with significant contamination, not just relatively clean ones. Furthermore, we find that regulatory pressure—in particular, the public listing of contaminated sites—drives participation. These findings imply Oregon has been able to spur voluntary remediation via public disclosure, a result that comports with key themes in the literature on voluntary environmental regulation.

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