U.S. Manufacturers Spend Billions Preventing Pollution

The U.S. manufacturing sector spent $5.9 billion dollars on capital expenditures and $20.7 billion dollars on operating costs for pollution prevention and treatment in 2005. These figures represent less than 5 percent of total new capital expenditures and less than 1 percent of total revenue for the sector, respectively. The estimates, which to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's knowledge are the most comprehensive publicly available, were reported in a U.S. Census report, "Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures (PACE): 2005."

The PACE report is the latest in a series conducted since 1973 to assess annual costs for pollution abatement by the manufacturing sector. This is the first year of data since EPA, in consultation with U.S. Census, began a multi-year effort to evaluate the quality of the survey instrument, and the accuracy and reliability of the data collected in the survey responses. As a result, an improved survey was developed to collect the 2005 data.

The report provides additional details on pollution abatement expenditures, categorized by type of pollution media and abatement activity by industry and state. The reported costs include capital and operating costs for treatment/capture, prevention, recycling, and disposal, as well as depreciation of pollution abatement equipment. For more information, visit http://yosemite.epa.gov/ee/epa/eed.nsf/pages/pace2005.html.

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