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PACE Survey: Background, Applications, and Data Quality Issues

  • Design
  • Ecology
  • Geography


The only comprehensive source of the actual costs of environmental abatement activities in the United States has been the Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures (PACE) survey. This survey collects facility-level data on capital and operating costs of pollution abatement, focusing on facilities in the manufacturing, mining, and electric utility industries. The cost information reflects most environmentally related expenditures, including compliance with local, state, and federal regulations, and voluntary or market-driven pollution abatement activities. Between 1973 and 1994 (but excluding 1987), the Bureau of Census conducted the PACE survey annually. After a 5-year lapse, it was reinstated in 2000, following a redesign, and collected data on 1999 expenditures. Subsequent to the 1999 PACE survey, no further surveys have been conducted. This report discusses the PACE survey and issues surrounding it, and offers suggestions for how to address some of these issues. This report is part of a larger project under contract with US EPA to redesign the PACE Survey with the goal of developing a survey that will be implemented on an annual basis.

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