Edited by Roy Brouwer and David Pearce
Chapter 9: Cost–benefit Analysis of the Remedial Action Plan to Improve Water Quality in the Great Lakes in Canada
9. Cost–beneﬁt analysis of the Remedial Action Plan to improve water quality in the Great Lakes in Canada D.P. Dupont and S. Renzetti 1. INTRODUCTION The Great Lakes are aptly named. Taken together, they hold approximately 18 per cent of the Earth’s freshwater and are the largest body of freshwater on the planet (USEPA, 2002). They supply water to 40 million citizens of Canada and the United States and support billions of dollars of activity by providing water for manufacturing, farming, electrical power generation, commercial shipping and recreation. The Great Lakes also provide many ecological services including ﬁsh and wildlife habitat, nutrient cycling as well as playing a role inﬂuencing continental weather patterns. Industrial, agricultural and domestic use of the Great Lakes, however, has come at a cost. During the period following the Second World War, the rapid increases in manufacturing activity, population and agricultural production in the Great Lakes watershed led to signiﬁcant deteriorations in water quality in many parts of the Great Lakes (Environment Canada, 1986). Initial clean-up eﬀorts began in the 1970s. These met with some success but were criticized for not allowing for suﬃcient public consultation and participation. As a result, the governments of the United States and Canada embarked on a novel approach to environmental restoration where control of local remedial actions was placed in locally organized committees. Under the Remedial Action Plan (RAP) programme, 42 ‘Areas of Concern’ were identiﬁed (including Hamilton Harbour) and a communitybased remediation...
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